The son of Utah Phillips, folk singer and co-founder of Hospitality House, is Brendan Phillips. He has been surrounded by the issues of homelessness and working towards creating more awareness and compassion for most of his life.
He followed the path of music initially, until he realized that folk music was not going to be enough income to survive. His dad always use to tell him, “There are literally tens of dollars to be made in folk music.” Once he got that, he shifted to social work.
He spent time up in Portland, working for an organization, Sisters of the Road. It was a huge education for him as he worked side by side with the homeless people on a project called “Dining with Dignity.” The community worked together to open a cafe, which is still there today charging $1.50 for a meal and a drink. He was making a difference, but hungry for more education in social work. After his Masters from Portland State, he returned to Nevada County.
His focus until very recently, was the intersection between homelessness, mental health, and forensics. His goal, at the time of the attached recording, was to keep people with mental health issues out of jail.
Recently, Nevada County got very lucky and hired him as the Housing Resource Manager. He now has a greater role in community organizing, and there is great hope for the future.
Listen to his lively stories and conversation below, and then don’t miss him performing for ‘A Place to Call Home: Stories Inspiring Transformation,” on November 16, 2017.