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FAST FIVE Scott Parker knows the homeless just want to be heard

by DEVIN WEEKS/CoeurVoice Contributor
| January 30, 2021 1:00 AM

Meet Scott Parker, an ambitious, hard-working and selfless member of the community. Scott has nearly 10 years of experience working with the community’s most underprivileged individuals. Starting with Habitat for Humanity, Scott realized his calling and passion was helping those who were the most under-served. He began volunteering at the dining halls. Later, in 2012, Scott began to serve the community at St. Vincent de Paul in Coeur d’Alene. There, Scott managed the St. Vincent de Paul veteran’s transitional housing. Building his resume, Scott adopted the warming center and joined their maintenance team as their foreman in 2014. Scott has continued serving the homeless community with his wife and family by his side.

Generation: I am a product of Generation X. I grew up with Tupac and Biggie and went home when streetlights came on. I had a very busy pager and dial-up internet.

Career and community involvement: I am the coordinator for St. Vincent de Paul’s Warming Center. I am also the head of their maintenance department. I am co-coordinator for the Point in Time count for Region I and a member of the Homeless Coalition. I serve on the board for the Kootenai Recovery Community Center. I have been involved in countless drives and fundraisers or our community and am a

member of the Elks.

Parental status: I enjoy two stepsons, one who is stationed in Alaska in the Army (#proudarmydad). I also have a beautiful 10-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old stepdaughter.

1. What's happening in the H.E.L.P. Center world at this time?

At the H.E.L.P Center, we are trying to adjust to our new normal thanks to COVID. We still cannot let the public in the doors, but services are available by appointment.

2. How have you, your colleagues and the population you serve fared through the COVID pandemic, and what can community members do to help?

We have been following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Panhandle Health District's guidelines for serving while in a pandemic. We continue to work through the struggles, but we will never stop serving the community. I am actively trying to find a van to transport our area’s homeless to the warming center nightly. St.Vincent de Paul always needs donations, especially during this pandemic. Our community has been greatly impacted by this deadly virus, and every bit helps.

3. What are a few things you've learned from working with homeless and impoverished populations that the general public might never realize?

Most of the homeless just want to be heard. They have a story to share. I have acquired many amazing relationships with our homeless and heard a lot of interesting and heartbreaking stories. The one thing that I want my community to know is that the stigma surrounding our community’s homeless is not true. They are just people, like you and me.

4. What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

I grew up living the hard life, doing what I had to do to survive. Selling candy turned to selling drugs and my life spiraled, sending me to prison. I overcame my adversity by getting clean years ago and giving back to the community I once wreaked havoc on. I was once told I would never amount to anything, that I was a menace to society. I am here to say that anyone can change their story at any time.

5. What is your philosophy on life and how does that philosophy help you to do what you do?

L.O.V.E. That is it. That is all you need. Because if you can love everyone like they were your family, no one would need donations.