On December 13, we lost a beloved friend and colleague, Ed Speedling. Our Executive Director, S. Mary Scullion, shared reflections on what Ed meant to us at his memorial service on January 7.
Ed Speedling was a beloved colleague and friend to all of us in the Project HOME community. Ed was a transformational person and leader!
He worked Sam Santiago and others in our Outreach Coordination Center; and with Jen McAleese and Alexis Pugh in the development of the PECO employment program for formerly homeless vets, many of whom successfully transitioned to permanent full employment.
With his amazing listening skills and the gift of understanding many perspectives, he was a tremendous asset in our efforts to work with community groups, even in situations of tension and conflict. Ray Homes was a direct result of his community building skills
He used his organizational wisdom to help in the strategic strengthening of many of our programs. He worked closely with Laura Weinbaum to develop recovery roundtables and other initiatives.
Ed did a lot in his nine years at Project HOME. But more important than anything he did was his gift in deepening our mission. Ed taught us that tenderness is the foundation of community. That our work is certainly made up of concrete actions but it is also done in our daily interactions. It is the art of being truly present to one another. And this is where Ed’s light shined so brightly. He taught us that what was most important is “sharing our stories, breaking bread with one another and feeding each other’s souls,” as Father Greg Boyle from Homeboy Industries states. Father Greg called it “the humble miracle of kinship.” Ed taught us to see this every day at Project HOME. No matter who the person was, Ed listened and shown them he cared.
David Brown lived in a cardboard box for 25 years outside of the Family Court Building – now the Barnes Museum. Ed’s and Sam’s persistence and friendship empowered David to come off the street. David ended up in the hospital with some medical issues. Ed went to see him and knowing that he had nothing, Ed brought David some needed clothing. David immediately realized that they were Ed’s clothes.
Recently, David was reflecting on what Ed meant to him. He said: “I found something that I truly love and that truly makes me happy, and that’s a million times more than something that makes you rich. I found that because someone believed in me, and that someone is my dear friend Ed Speedling, who I live on for this day and time.”
Today, we all live more tenderly, more honestly, more deeply because of Ed. These are the enduring gifts that Ed has left us!
To make a gift in memory of Ed Speedling please visit our donation page and indicate at the bottom of the page that the gift is in memory of Ed Speedling.