Tommy Bennett started out at Street Sense as a no-nonsense, tough-talking and serious-minded vendor. In his early days at the organization, Tommy, like most vendors, was dealing with past issues that had derailed his life. It was not unusual for Tommy to get in other vendors’ faces and proceed to tough-talk if they had a disagreement. In those earlier years I kept a certain distance from vendors like him, who exhibited this behavior.
As the years wore on, Tommy dealt with his demons and eventually found permanent supportive housing. My re-introduction to the new, gentler Tommy began when I was asked to be a part of the Vendor Advisory Team. It was there that I began to know Tommy as a soft-spoken and diplomatic gentleman. I guess this drastic change in his personality could be attributed to his new laid-back lifestyle. From then on, I had a nickname for Tommy. I called him “The Mayor of Street Sense.” Tommy will be missed by all who crossed his path.