Newest member of homeless outreach team isn't new to working with the homeless

Kelly Martin is the newest member of the Bert Nash homeless outreach team, though he's familiar with the team from his previous role with the Lawrence Community Shelter.

Kelly Martin is the newest member of the Bert Nash homeless outreach team, though he's familiar with the team from his previous role with the Lawrence Community Shelter. by Jeff Burkhead

There’s a new face on the Bert Nash homeless outreach team.

And it’s clean-shaven.

Kelly Martin joined the homeless outreach team at the first of October. His fellow team members — Brad Cook, Mathew Faulk and David Tucker — sport beards and mustaches.

Apparently, facial hair is not a job requirement.

“They keep telling me I have to grow a beard. But, no, I don’t think it’s going to happen,” Martin said, laughing. “I’m not growing a beard.”

Before joining the homeless outreach team, Martin worked for the past six years at the Lawrence Community Shelter, primarily doing crisis case management, where he regularly crossed paths with the Bert Nash team. Before that, he worked for Pawnee Mental Health Services in Manhattan.

“The reason I’m working here is because of David Tucker and Brad Cook (members of the team who also work at the shelter),” Martin said. “I know those two guys real well. So here I am.”

Sharon Zehr, who oversees the Bert Nash homeless outreach team, said Martin has fit in from the start.

“We are extremely lucky to have Kelly join our team,” Zehr said. “His commitment to working with people who are homeless is evident by his many years working for the Lawrence Community Shelter. He also has several years of experience working in another community mental health center in Kansas, so this has been a smooth transition for him as well as for the rest of the team.”

While Martin is different from the other team members when it comes to whiskers, he’s one of them as far as having a heart for helping the homeless.

“I feel great about joining the team,” Martin said. “I feel like I’ve been given an opportunity where I can actually facilitate getting people out of homelessness and getting them into housing. I feel like I can make a difference doing this.”

Comments

Charles Corbett 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I've known Kelly since he came to lcs he is a goodhearted goal oriented guy who truly cares for the homeless mentally ill and always welcomes me with a smile and handshake; I consider my life better. And wealthier knowing him .

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