I was working as an outreach case manager when Glendale Police called about a homeless man they found in an abandoned building. Upon arrival I found a scared older man huddled in a corner in the worst possible condition a human being can be. I took Lanny back to our facility and offered him a shower and some clean clothes.
Over the next few years Lanny and I became close friends. I would look for him almost every day when I was working outreach, and when I was traveling with Invisible People, Lanny would inquire with my co-workers asking for information about my return.
I committed to getting Lanny off the streets. It took 3 and a half years to get him into housing, but once he had his own place that provided personal dignity, the transformation for the better was immediate.
This video on Housing First helps share that part of the story http://invisiblepeople.tv/housingfirst
Lanny passed away this week. Last time I hung out with Lanny was last January. I stopped by his apartment and took him to dinner.
Although I am saddened by Lanny’s death, I know he had a good life in his very own apartment the last few years.
Lanny is proof we can end homelessness. There are a lot more Lanny’s still on the street. We MUST do everything we can to end homelessness for EVERYONE!
Lanny changed my life in ways. I am grateful for the bond we developed. Lanny will be missed.
Good-bye Lanny. I love you!