To Trent, From Terry

Tiny - Posted on 26 February 2011

June 2000

I mourn his loss tremendously. Not only because he was a good, decent, and committed activist, but also because he was the single most exceptional and talented writer I've ever seen come out of the homeless movement. His writing had enormous potential to create social change. He was able to write every kind of story on every subject and make it compelling, vivid, and inspiring.

He wrote about Doug Ferrari. Doug was a great comedian who ended up homeless in the Tenderloin. Trent wrote his life story so that you could feel the ups and downs of Doug's life. You could see the hell he went through with substance abuse and mental disability. You could see the hellhole slum hotels that Doug was forced to live in. Because Trent wrote that story, he single-handedly lifted Doug Ferrari out of the oblivion of poverty and got him onto the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle. Trent was responsible for enlisting Doug Ferrari's friends to give him a helping hand.

Trent also wrote absolutely brilliant investigative journalism. He wrote about the police persecution of homeless people in Sacramento. He wrote about Hospitality House and the financial misconduct of its past officers. He was just truly a great writer with enormous ability to make a change for the better.

That is why his loss is felt so keenly by all of us who care about economic justice. His loss is more than a loss of a friend. It is an incredibly hard loss to the movement as a whole. And it’s very sad and tragic that he was never given the credit in this life for the greatness of his talent. And now the world may forget his great writing ability, unless we, his friends, are a voice for him now to remind people of how special and fine a person and a writer Trent was.


Sign-up for POOR email!