We were shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Patricia Handy, homeless coordinator in the Family Services Administration of the DC Department of Human Services, and a partner in the fight to end homelessness in the District.

Ms. Handy dedicated her career to help better the lives of DC residents experiencing homelessness. She worked at all hours of the day and was often the first person to respond to those who were facing a housing crisis. On many nights when our clients were in grave situations and needed shelter or housing placement, it was Ms. Handy that answered the phone and made the calls necessary to get them help. Her work with individuals who were homeless was instrumental in getting them off the streets and into safe shelter or housing. In one particular example, Ms. Handy’s outreach to a number of DC residents who were sleeping under a bridge was the first step in getting them housed through the city’s Permanent Supportive Housing Program. She was a consistent and valuable presence at community meetings held by the Interagency Council on Homelessness and was often the first source of information on the issues facing homeless individuals in the District.

She was tireless in her efforts to help DC’s most vulnerable residents, and her passing is a significant loss to our community. Our hearts go out to her family and loved ones, as well as to her colleagues at the Department of Human Services.

Services for Ms. Handy will be held this afternoon at 1:30pm at the Fort Lincoln Funeral Home, 3401 Bladensburg Rd. Brentwood, MD.

Please feel free to add your own thoughts and memories of Patricia in the comments section.