Starting Places

Five years ago, Judge Ed Emmett rang me up as I was juggling two phones trying to get information about which of our centers were flooded and which were dry. As then CEO of BakerRipley I was thinking past the immediate emergency of drastic flooding and stranded people, trying to inventory what assets we had […]

Golden Triangle

I’m a bit heartsick about the Golden Triangle. The folks not over Harvey and struck by Imelda as they try to get their heads above the muck and mud. We fight to be able to rethink before we rebuild, but HOME is so URGENT calling us back. The answers are no longer behind us and we […]


More about one year anniversaries of disasters. 1. Hold a memorial for what was lost. Have a good cry for all that is permanently gone – your stuff, your savings, your dream, your sense of security. Your lost year. Whatever. Have a good ceremony. Comfort food. Play some blues. Bawl your eyes out. 2. Relive […]


One year anniversaries: You know what’s lost and what won’t ever be recovered. You feel gratitude and grief in equal measure. You’ve chosen either acceptance or resignation. You feel a painful and useful sense of solidarity with others whose lives have been upended. #HurricaneHarvey

Recovery Mirrors

Many people have lost their memories and their history. Not only in this storm but in other storms and disruptions as well. For some, Harvey is a heartbreaking sequel. They’ve hauled their belongings to the curb before and now they’re doing it again. Piling up their pain. Waiting for deliverance. In some way they’re the lucky ones. […]


Last night I stayed late at BakerRipley NRG Center. Left about 2:00AM. I’ve been in a room for days with people I love, whose talents and skills I respect. At times I’ve led but often I’ve followed the other leaders in the room when they were “on it” and knew best what needed to be done. We […]

SHELTER – checking in. Checking out. Moving on

No one wants a shelter to be a permanent home. No matter how hard we work to welcome people, to treat them with dignity, a shelter is not a home. So, the most important work in a shelter – beyond the most basic elements – is to listen when people tell you what they need […]