Linda Dunlap, Project Dignity’s Executive Director passed away in July of 2008. She is missed in more ways than we would have imagined possible. We are heart sore, but determined to honor and continue her legacy.
In 1986 doctors told Linda she had 6 months to live and she told them the Lord knew more about that than they did. She said He had a lot more work for her to do. She proved herself and God right by living another 22 ministry-packed years.
Linda founded Project Dignity in 1991 with $2,000 of her own money.
She was a Registered Nurse with a heart for the homeless and the imagination to want to help them in ways that hadn’t been thought of before. She distributed large rubber trash cans with wheels and locks to hold the belongings of people on the street, replacing the open, vulnerable shopping carts they were using. She instructed them how not to get sick when eating on the streets.
She went into the motels singlehandedly with nothing more than her backpack and a few medical supplies. She won the confidence of people who had never had anyone care about them or help them before. Her belief and vision that one person can make a difference grew into 10,000 people being helped annually by Project Dignity.
Linda hated wasting time in meetings, but never hesitated to speak her mind and advocate for a better life for the homeless. She spoke to anyone who would listen and never backed down. She never settled or took the easy way.
In spite of a body that continually betrayed her, Linda’s mind and heart never wavered. She guided Project Dignity with a strong, loving hand and trained the volunteers to stand up and be a voice for those that society so easily dismisses and disregards. She taught us that even if we get down to nothing but dust on the garage floor, we will still have the most important thing of all to take with us—the Lord’s love and compassion for all of His people.
We are so fortunate to have had her as a wife, mother, sister and friend. We only wish the rest of you could have been as blessed.
Project Dignity Board of Directors
Memorable quotes by Linda Dunlap
I pretty much establish the fact that when I go out to work, it is the agenda that is of the people. It is of the neighborhood. It’s what’s happening there. I become a part of that. I hopefully don’t bring my own agenda of my own life to force it on them, and I work with whatever it is they’re doing.
Some of the children don’t leave the motels and there is no playground equipment for them. There is no place for them to play. A lot of the work, particularly with the children that I’ve been doing has created a dark place in my soul. A place where I have a lot of sadness for the things I can’t change for these children.
For some unknown reason children love band-aids, so I thought that if I were to see them as a nurse sometimes they would know me if I’d been out there and if I had been doing that. It’s come to me that I sort of do band-aid work. I don’t solve all these people’s problems. I can’t do that. But it’s like putting a band aid on it for now, for today.