“Thank You For Helping Susan Hunt”

On Saturday, August 25th, in San Diego, Susan Hunt, a 61 year old woman, was struck by a car driven by a 69 year old man.

In the accident, Susan hit her head and suffered severe brain trauma.  She was on life-support at Scripps Hospital until yesterday, when, following her previously stated wishes, extraordinary measures were removed.  Within fifteen minutes thereof, Susan died peacefully.

Susan had been homeless for over 10 years.

The Center for Justice and Social Compassion (CJSC) helped her get her identification documents and many basic services.

Sally Dunn and the entire staff at SD County Mental Health provided invaluable services.

Susan received much needed support at Rachel’s Women’s Center.

David Ross, The Waterman, was a dear friend and supporter of “Mo” (Susan’s nickname).

In December 2011, through the efforts of  Bob McElroy and the Alpha Project, Susan became a resident of the Winter Shelter.

At that facility, Susan was assisted by many agencies, including Townspeople, Friend to Friend and many more.

Susan received HPRP funding and was housed for a year.  She then received funding for an additional year of housing, now in its fourth month, from the SD Housing Commission.

Susan had many friends, housed and unhoused, and we will all miss this gentle lady.

We thank everyone who was a part of Susan’s life.

Christine Schanes
Center for Justice and Social Compassion (CJSC)



Christine Schanes

Christine Schanes, J.D., Ph.D., is a consultant and public educator in the area of homelessness. Christine is director of two departments within Nos Amis/Our Friends, Inc.: (1) the new Center for Justice and Social Compassion and (2) Children Helping Poor and Homeless People, co-founded by Christine and her two children, Chrissy, age 8, and Patrick, age 6 over twenty years ago. Today, CHPHP is a nationally recognized educational outreach program conducted by children and teens with adult advisors that encourages direct service.

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    • avatarChristine Schanes says


      Thank you for your kind words. Susan was a wonderful, truly gentle person. We will miss her.


  1. avatarTom Czarniak says

    I knew Suzie some years ago. The world has lost a good woman. A caring and considerate individual. You’re in God’s company now Suzie. Good-bye.

    • avatarChristine Schanes says


      Thanks for your comment.

      I appreciate your kind words about our friend.

      Could you please share some of the details about how you came to meet Suzie?


      • avatarTom Czarniak says

        Hi Christine,
        I was married to one of Suzie’s sisters a few years back. She came out to Connecticut to visit one time and my ex-wife and I stopped in to visit her for a few days in Del Mar. Suzie took us to the San Deigo zoo and a trip across the border to Encenadia. I had a great time when I was around her and will never forget the trip to Mexico. I didn’t have any contact with her for quite a few years nor do I have much contact with her family now. I heard of her passing through a mutual friend of my ex-wife and mine.
        We never know when we’re going to go so please enjoy each day on this earth as I do. Whenever someone greets me and says casually “How are you” I always reply ” I never had it so good”, and I really believe it to be true for I had problems myself at one time and by living “one day at a time” I live a happy life now.
        God bless you Christine and feel free to send me an e-mail at any time. I’d love to hear how the west coast is doing.
        Tom C.

        • avatarChristine Schanes says

          Hi, Tom,

          Thanks so much for your comment. And I so appreciate you sharing so much about your relationship with Suzie. As I read your words, I could feel how sincerely you felt about her. Also, it was great learning more about Suzie through you.

          Suzie and I used to “meet up” on days we had not planned to see each other. We would just run into each other any where in San Diego. We both recognized that that was something special – some special connection.

          Besides her sweet nature, I miss Suzie’s brilliant, crisp and unexpected sense of humor. After one of Suzie’s clever quips, I would always think – “How does she think of things like that? How does she doe that?”

          Please keep in touch,

  2. avatarLaurie Cayer says

    I am now able to write about my sister. Susan was a sister, mother, daughter, aunt, great aunt and a mother figure to everyone she met. Susan was the oldest of five children and was a second mom to all of us. Unfortunately, she experienced a traumatic event at her place of employment which sent her life into a spiral and resulted in her being homeless. What I believe was a self imposed prison of guilt. I believe many judged my sister while she was homeless. If they only knew how much she suffered. She didn’t deserve to suffer, to struggle and to be homeless. The family was searching for her and her son for many years. I can only take comfort in the fact that she will suffer no more and I was able to be with her when she died. I miss her more than words can express. She was my second mom, my sister, my best friend, mentor to my children and someone I admired. I want to thank everyone for their kind words. I also want to thank Christine and the entire “team” that helped her.

    • avatarChristine Schanes says


      Please accept my sincere condolences to you and your family for your loss.

      Thank you for sharing so much about Susan. And thank you for your kind words. All of us on Susan’s Team truly cared about her. She was a pleasure to work with.

      I must agree with you about Susan – she was a very fine woman. And a great friend to me.

      I hope you’ll stay in touch.

  3. avatarTracy fallon says

    Susan was my sister-in-law many years ago, My daughter Danielle is her niece. As Laurie said, Sue was a gentle soul. I only met her twice in my life, but I always felt her love and humor. When my daughter was about two months old, Sue and her son had come for a visit to CT. Then the next time we saw them was when they came for another visit several years later. We went to the Beardsley Zoo and spent time with the family. Sue always had a smile on her face and a quick whit about her, she had that glow about her. I know that she will be missed by all who knew her, especially her immediate family. RIP Sue, you are at peace.

    • avatarChristine Schanes says


      Thank you for your comment.

      Please accept my condolences for your loss.

      You are obviously very perceptive because you only met Susan twice and have the same observations and feelings about Susan as many of us who saw her more frequently.

      I think that this blog is a wonderful way to memorialize a person who has passed, certainly as wonderful a person as Susan.

      Please keep in touch.