by Marcia Bufford
What seems like a lifetime ago…I was asked to volunteer for NEOCH’s first Stand Down in 1995. Within weeks I was trying to find a reason and a way to stay permanently.
Brian Davis has a passion for social justice that is infectious. Brian has taught me so much I hardly know where to begin. By the way, Brian is a man of very few words [except when advocating for homeless people]. He leads and teaches by example. He lives his values and standards daily, 24/7 at the office, at public meetings, at his church, at City Hall, previously on his radio show, in front of news reporters, with family, close friends, & acquaintances. He’s nothing if not consistent.
Over the years during difficult times in my life Brian has been a constant presence; offering compassion and a sense of security whenever it was needed. I am so grateful for those times when he showed up in my life. I know I wouldn’t have two master’s degrees and the professional experience I have if it weren’t for Brian. There really is no way to capture in words the impact that Brian Davis has had on my life.
One day back in 1997 I asked him if he always wanted to work at NEOCH and he responded, “There are only two things I ever wanted in my life: to be the director of NEOCH and to be a father.” In my opinion, because he set this intention and focused his time, talents and resources to these specific goals is the reason he has excelled beyond measure as both the Director of NEOCH and the Loving & Devoted Father of Lianna and Amara.
Under Brian’s leadership NEOCH has been a force for positive change in the homeless community, service provider community, and the greater Cleveland community. I have brought programs and initiatives that I learned from Brian to San Francisco & Sacramento. This year will be our first Homeless Memorial Day 12/21/2017 that I am working on putting together after attending many in Cleveland.
Brian is my eternal benchmark of “Good Supervisor” and NEOCH will always be “THE BEST” job I have ever had!!!
Editor’s Note: Marcia Bufford was a long time Board Member of NEOCH until she moved to San Francisco.