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Filling his grandmother’s shoes; how a homeless services caseworker was inspired to help others

Meet Marcus Scott, Beans & Bread caseworker

Marcus Scott, Caseworker at Beans & Bread

Marcus Scott, Caseworker at Beans & Bread

Marcus Scott is a caseworker at Beans & Bread, our day shelter in Fells Point. A Baltimore native, Marcus grew up in the Walbrook neighborhood where his family has resided for generations. He describes a childhood surrounded by a closeknit and warm family in the neighborhood known for decay and neglect and a rough side.

His grandmother was a neighborhood fixture -- the type of person who wanted to fix things and help everyone and anyone with a problem. If Marcus had a friend going through a rough patch his grandmother would welcome them to stay in her home; she'd prepare delicious homecooked meals and provide warm, yet firm counsel.

Like his grandmother, Marcus has always enjoyed helping people. When it came time to pursue a career it felt natural to do it professionally.

 

 

“I’m here to do good work… that’s all.”

Marcus Scott and Sheila Pate at Beans & Bread

Marcus Scott and Sheila Pate at Beans & Bread

If you ask Marcus about the hardest part of being a caseworker, he'll tell you that it's coming to terms with the fact that you can't always help everyone. Sometimes people just aren't ready, either mentally or physically, to receive help. It can be a hard truth to accept when you see people who are suffering. 

But for all of those moments there are victories - both small and large. We caught up with Marcus in October 2018 on the heels of a big victory. Over a period of many months he had helped his client Sheila Pate find full time employment, temporary housing, and then finally, a place of her own where she now lives with her daughter.

Can we end homelessness?

Housing costs are a primary driver of homelessness. In Maryland, the minimum wage is currently $10.10 an hour - nearly 40% higher than the federal minimum wage, but that only adds up to an annual income of $21,000, which puts the average $900 one-bedroom rental in Baltimore out of reach. As long as people don’t make enough to cover their shelter, food, transportation and other necessities, homelessness will continue to be an issue.

When people lose their homes it's important to take steps to get them back into housing as soon as possible.  And there are things we can all do to lessen the stigma and pain of those suffering from homelessness—we can talk to people and listen to their stories with an open mind, free of judgment.

A final piece of insight from Marcus: Just be nice to people.

If you are interested in helping  someone experiencing homelessness, consider a donation.

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Marcus Scott, Caseworker at Beans & Bread

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