Remembering our friend, Anthony

Anthony Crawford, July 29, 1957 – July 30, 2021, was born and raised in Washington, D.C. to Martha and Louis Crawford. He loved western movies, a good fish fry, The Pittsburgh Steelers, and soul music. “Music lifts me up, all music has a message to it,” he said in a 2016 interview.

He had a lot of uplifting messages of his own to share. He taught Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen how to sell Street Sense papers. He shook hands with Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio), which he said felt like a blessing. After more than 20 years of homelessness, he mentored young people as a guide for the National Coalition for the Homelessness “Urban Plunge” program. And more simply, countless Street Sense Media customers cite Anthony’s warm smile and friendly “hello” as the reason they buy the paper. When he suffered from a heart attack and a stroke several years ago, many rallied around Anthony to help with his bills.

He was nothing short of a pioneer for Street Sense. As Vendor #6, Anthony helped co-founders Laura and Ted launch the organization. One fellow vendor said Anthony “built” his corner at 19th and M streets NW, laying the foundation for other vendors to be successful. He became a core leader of the vendor delivery team that met the van with each new edition. The staff specifically recognized him for this with a merit award in 2007. That same year, he and five other vendors piloted “Street Sense TV” as part of DCTV.

And yet his positive messages transcended well beyond our platform. In 2017, Anthony became the first card creator to work with Second Story Cards, helping once again to launch an income opportunity to help people experiencing homelessness. Now his advice to “polish off a bucket of fried chicken and half gallon of ice cream” when you’re not feeling well or that “writing Christmas cards is so much more fun with bourbon” can be purchased around the country. It was through a deep friendship with the company’s founder, Reed Sandridge, that Anthony developed the motivation and wherewithal to pursue and secure a place of his own. Whether toward his customers, his old neighbors, or the woman he fell madly in love with — Anthony was generous of spirit.

He is survived by his fiancée, Crystal Mills; siblings Jackie Browning (Tacoma, Washington), Frances Crawford (Washington, DC), Roblin Martin (Arizona), Carl Crawford (Seattle, WA); and many friends. A memorial service was held for him on Sept. 16.

Issues |Death

Region |Washington DC

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We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.