Street Sense Vendors Remember Michael

National Coalition for the Homeless

Angels Are Watching

By Patty Smith

Dedicated to Michael Stoops

The angels are watching,
The birds are watching,
To see you make it through.
All people was a watching,
The world stood still.
What a watchful night that was.
They said the CIA is watching everyone.
Our love will hold.
I want to be sure,
I see you through this.
Climbing up hills and mountains,
Just to get to your love,
Since everyone is watching us.


By Chris Shaw

We hardly knew…
hardly knew, how kind—
How caring, could
One soul be.
My eyes have shut,
And I behold,
In the cold…
‘Twas back in 1987’
‘Twas tweed cap,
‘Twas you, Michael—
Your head cocked to one side,
Listening to Mickey, to
And to the words of
Such urge-filled words:
“Do not let them freeze,
Do not them starve.;
Nor be upon the shroud.
As if they are dead!”
And Michael, you did not
Allow for suffering,
Helplessness, nor
Ever again on your watch.
And then, when your
Walking was stilled,
Your resonant
Voice silenced,
Your eyes stayed clear—
Always on watch.
Michael, God reached out
To you, but we have yet
To find your match!

Stoops’ Wish

By Gwynette Smith

I met Michael Stoops when I went to work for the Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau in 2014, I was there for a year or so. High school students and college students are given the opportunity to meet people who are or have been homeless, to listen to their stories about how they became homeless and to ask them questions.

The students come from out-of-town and often get a chance to do something a homeless person might do, like panhandling. Some take the homeless challenge and live on the street as a homeless person for 48 hours.

The students were interested and excited about the activities. Mr. Stoops was a friendly. down-to-earth person who put me at ease.

When I called to find out about Mr. Stoops, who had been sick for about a year, I was asked if I was returning. I have had family developments come up and I can’t now, but I might sometime.

I am really happy about the work NCH did on the Homeless Bill of Rights that has passed in several states. It mandates that homeless people must receive the same rights as anyone else from the police and others. It includes the right to vote, privacy rights, and the right to emergency medical care. It also protects people from being wrongfully denied employment.

It is my hope that Mr. Stoops’ wishes — that people get a living wage. affordable housing, a safety net from homelessness and an end to homelessness — will occur soon.

Lessons Big & Small

By Patricia Jefferson

I was sorry to hear about Michael Stoops death. I remember Michael from my work for the Speakers Bureau of the National Coalition for the Homeless. I didn’t know him that well, but I recall him being mild-mannered and available when employees had questions about the program.

Michael Stoops provided the necessary tips and suggestions to be successful. I now know that a certain style and demeanor of presentation is required when making speeches to an audience or group of people. His advice was very helpful and I took it to practice.

My condolences to his family.



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