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A Look Back at our 2019 Good Hope Gala Keynote Speech

At this year’s Good Hope Gala, keynote speaker Courtney Dowe gave a moving speech detailing her time with Bread for the City. If you couldn’t make it to the gala or want to relive this amazing moment, this speech — in its entirety — is worth a listen (or three).

My first visit to the doctor at Bread was not like my stress-filled memories of health care at all. The waiting room had art supplies and an area where children could play. The staff seemed relaxed and even generally happy. My doctor, Dr. Randi managed to make me feel like I was her only patient. When she called to follow up on something regarding my prescription, I was shocked. I remember thinking, “How is it possible for her to pay this much attention to one patient?” 

There is something magical that happens when someone can see your humanity and treats you accordingly. There is something healing about being seen as a person. I no longer think of going to the dentist or seeing the doctor as luxuries that are for other people with more money or status than myself. I think of medical care as something that my community offers to me and that I can receive without fear or embarrassment. I don’t have to worry about whether or not I will be judged for having health issues that are common for those who have survived or are currently surviving homelessness. I no longer deny myself medical care because of shame. 

I went on to become a patient member on the Board Of Bread For The City. It has been an inexplicably profound honor and privilege to serve the community that has served me so well and so lovingly for so long. 



1 New comments

Em Doug | Reply

Ms. Dowe and all the BFC community,
I’m a new patient with BFC, and when I called to schedule my first appointment, the phone message said “You’ll be glad when you become a patient with us. ” That’s the first time I ever heard something like that from a medical office! It made me feel hopeful.
And now, viewing the BFC website, I’m so glad to see testimony from Ms. Dowe and others, about how well BFC treats patients – as human beings! It’s refreshing and restores my faith in humanity. Thank you, Bread for the City, for helping so many people so very well. And combining a medical, dental and eye clinic with a legal clinic and other vital services? Pure genius! If I ever come into some “real money,” I’ll be donating to BFC!

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