Monseur Alli was born in 1977 at Washington Hospital Center in D.C. Alli was raised in between D.C., Montgomery County, MD, and Prince George’s County, MD. His father worked as a master carpenter and his mother worked several jobs, including at an airport, in hotels, and in the entertainment industry. Alli received his GED and was enrolled in Prince George’s Community College at age sixteen. Alli became homeless for the first time at age fifteen.
Aida Basnight was born in Cleveland, OH in 1955 and was raised in Chicago, IL. Basnight’s mother lived in D.C. for over forty years and owns a home in Northwest D.C. Growing up, Basnight came to D.C. frequently to be with her mother. Basnight was married in Chicago, had two children, and officially moved to D.C. in 2002 because she was in between jobs. She earned a bachelor’s degree in computer networking and a master’s degree in information systems. Basnight became homeless after she was laid off from her job at the Department of Defense.
David Chisolm was born on May 3, 1970 in Jersey City, NJ. Growing up in Jersey City, Chisolm’s father worked construction while his mother stayed at home. He graduated high school and has worked mostly in the food service industry. Chisolm came to D.C. in January of 2015 because he wanted a change.
Paul Ellis was born on April 25, 1962 in New York City. Ellis spent his first two years in New York City and has lived in D.C. ever since. His father was a merchant marine and his mother was in home care where she took care of the elderly. Ellis graduated from high school and has his food handler’s license.
Jamal Francis was born in New Orleans in 1980. His mother passed away when he was three months old, and he was raised by his extended family. He moved to Arlington, Virginia with his sister when he was seventeen. After graduating from high school he moved to the district and attended University of District of Columbia where he studied graphic design. In order to pay his rent, he dropped out of school and worked two jobs. While he is still hoping to attain his degree, he has completed certificate programs in medical administration, billing coding, and electronic health records.
Levester Green in 1972 in Washington, D.C. Green was raised between D.C. and Maryland. Growing up, his mother worked for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and his father was a cab driver and entrepreneur. Green graduated from high school and attended some college at South Carolina State University where he studied radio broadcast. In college, Green was able to intern as an on-air radio personality.
Cowanda Gresham was born in 1977 at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C. Gresham was raised between D.C. and Prince George’s County, MD. One of four Gresham children, Gresham earned her GED in 2014. She attended Prince George’s Community College in Maryland to study criminal justice.
Leonard Hyater was born in 1959 in Southeast Washington, D.C. Hyater lived in Maryland at some points in his life but considers D.C. his home. Growing up, Hyater’s mother worked at the post office for over thirty years and his father was a metropolitan police officer. Hyater was incarcerated for nine years until 1994. While he was incarcerated, Hyater earned his GED and completed two years of business college. Hyater currently works as a Street Sense vendor in D.C.
Alonzo Johnson was born in March of 1962 at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. Johnson was raised between D.C. and Prince George’s County, MD. His father was a bricklayer and his mother did administrative work in the Watergate building in D.C. Johnson graduated from DuVal High School in Prince George’s County, MD and then took up bricklaying through Job Corps in Chesapeake, MD. Johnson is currently employed by Restaurant Associates in D.C.
Carlton Johnson was born in May 15, 1962 in Washington, D.C. Johnson was raised throughout the DMV area. His father was a Vietnam veteran and his mother was a housewife. Johnson attended trade school in order to be a communications technician. He has two children and a grandson. Johnson’s eldest son owns his own business and his younger son is a bright high school student. Johnson currently runs a flooring and tiling business that he is trying to get off of the ground.
Kanie Pendarvis was born on May 1, 1954 in Washington, D.C. Pendarvis was raised in the Brookland neighborhood of Northeast D.C. Growing up, Pendarvis was raised by his foster parents. His foster father worked as an offset printer for Harry Diamond Laboratories. Before entering the U.S. Marine Corps, Pendarvis acquired his GED and attended a year of college at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). He has participated in programs for addiction counseling and recently received his home health aide certification.
David Sembly was born on December 4, 1983 in Baltimore, MD. Sembly lived in Baltimore on and off for over thirty years and has also spent time working in Brooklyn, NY and San Jose, CA. Growing up, Sembly’s mother was a custodian. He graduated from Patterson High School in Baltimore and has seventeen years of experience as a cook, which he believes stems from his older brother who was a cook. Sembly currently lives in Baltimore and hopes to work at least two restaurant jobs in D.C.
Eric Sheptock was born on February 15, 1969 in Atlantic City, NJ. Sheptock was raised in New Jersey before moving to Florida at the age of sixteen. Growing up, his father was superintendent of buildings and grounds over four schools in New Jersey and his mother was a nurse before quitting her job to raise over ten children. Sheptock came to D.C. in the summer of 2005 to speak out against the war in Iraq. He graduated from high school and is currently a housing advocate in D.C.
Joseph Slovinec was born on November 26, 1958 in Chicago, IL. Growing up, his father worked for the Chicago Board of Education and his mother briefly worked at Illinois Bell Telephone Company. He earned a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and a Master’s Degree in History from DePaul University. Slovinec arrived in D.C. in 2005 at the age of forty-seven.
Patty Smith was born in Mississippi and moved to Pittsburgh, PA at the age of six. Growing up in Pittsburgh, Smith’s mother worked in a steel mill factory and was involved in a union. Smith graduated from high school and studied business at Bradford School in Pittsburgh where she was recruited to work for Blue Cross Blue Shield. Smith moved to D.C. when she was 24-years old for a change of pace. She is currently a Street Sense vendor in D.C.
Jeff Taylor was born on December 3, 1962 in Macomb, Illinois. Taylor was raised in rural Illinois and southeast Iowa. Growing up, Taylor’s parents both worked at his father’s small business. He completed high school and attended three years of college where he studied music education. Taylor came to the D.C. area in 2001 after getting a new job.
Jacqueline Turner was born in 1953 in West Virginia. Turner graduated from Potomac High School in Maryland and attended Montgomery Community College. She was in an abusive marriage for 25 years while living in New York. When Turner decided to leave her husband for good, she moved into a shelter and began working two jobs. Turner has one child and currently works with Street Sense in D.C.
Ron VerQuer was born in 1959 in Pueblo, CO. VerQuer’s grew up learning about trucks from his father who was a small business owner who worked with trucks. He completed high school and went back to school to gain automotive skills. VerQuer learned the importance of helping others from his parents and grandparents. He has three sons, one daughter, and three grandchildren.
Robert Warren was born in 1961 at Freedmen’s Hospital (now Howard University Hospital) in Washington D.C. Warren is originally from the Anacostia neighborhood of D.C. and has lived in every section of the city at some point during his life. Growing up, his mother worked in social work and housing advocacy. Warren’s father died when he was fourteen and his stepfather worked at the Washington Post as a printer. Warren graduated from high school and has since participated in many jobs training programs.
Marie Wills was born on September 7, 1989. Wills was born and raised Philadelphia, PA by her mother who worked in a grocery store. She graduated from a technical high school where she focused on cosmetology. Wills came to D.C. for a change of pace and ultimately hopes to be a successful hairdresser.
Timothy Witcher was born on November 22, 1966 in Washington, D.C. Witcher was raised on Morton Street in Upper Northwest D.C. Growing up, his mother worked as an in-house caretaker in Georgetown, D.C. and his father was an auto mechanic. Witcher earned his GED and attended Dorothea B. Lane Secretarial School in Fredericksburg, VA. Witcher is currently employed as a mail carrier in D.C.