The Council honors volunteers in Health Care for the Homeless who make a difference in the lives of people without homes. David Peery of Camillus Health Concern in Miami, FL, is the subject of this Volunteer Spotlight.
David is a dedicated and passionate advocate for the rights of people experiencing homelessness, including engagement in the services and systems that affect their lives. He is currently a Regional Representative with the National Consumer Advisory Board (NCAB), where he is supporting consumers at local health centers engaged in governance and advocacy and facilitating their communication with the NCAB Steering Committee to represent their perspectives and needs to the community. With NCAB, David helped lead the Learning Lab at our 2017 National Health Care for the Homeless Conference and Policy Symposium on Fostering Trauma-Informed Consumer Leadership and is currently helping to re-launch the NCAB Newsletter.
David exhibits a longstanding commitment to empowering consumers through the Camillus Health Concern’s Consumer Advisory Board. As Camillus CAB chairperson, David spearheaded numerous activities that increased CAB membership from 2 to 17 members, and he helped create a new class of CAB supporters termed “CAB Ambassadors.” Among his accomplishments, David collaborated with Miami-Dade College to present annual art fairs where consumers could sell their artwork and instituted the first annual CAB drives to distribute donated blankets to consumers who were sleeping on the streets during cold winter evenings. David also led the CAB in sponsoring their first annual Summer Solstice events, in which consumers displayed their creative talents in celebration of individual success stories.
David is also a passionate advocate for human rights. He serves as a class representative in a federal settlement that secures the rights of people without homes in Miami to conduct certain life-sustaining activities in public without fear of arrest. To that end, David played a key role in federal mediation efforts that now guarantee that people experiencing homelessness in Miami will not be arrested for certain offenses without first being offered shelter. David has been invited to act as a panelist to present the consumer perspective at numerous events sponsored by the Florida and Miami-Dade County branches of the American Civil Liberties Union and at mental health symposia hosted by area hospitals.