A well-known advocate for the homeless has passed away.
Carol Walter was the Executive Director of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness. She passed away Thursday after being diagnosed with cancer earlier this month. Shawn Lang, Public Policy Director at the Connecticut Aids Resource Coalition was one of Walter's close friends. She says they shared a love of politics, baseball and social justice . "Everybody was touched by her in one way or another. And I think people will pledge to carry on the work that she did because we owe her that." Walter grew up in Bloomfield. She worked in shelters in Stamford, Hartford, and New Haven before being appointed to direct the statewide coalition in 2006. Friends and colleagues say Walter was known for bringing many different groups together to help the homeless. Barbara Geller runs housing and homeless services for the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. She first met Walter several years ago. "I don't know that all of us understand how hard it is to be an advocate for a population that is not only invisible, but that most people don't think about. And she made that population real to people." The Coalition to End Homelessness issued a statement today saying Walter was a much loved director who was a tireless and passionate advocate. The board has appointed Francesca Martin to be the Interim director starting January 7. Meanwhile, Walter's family and friends are in the middle of planning a celebration of her life. They're calling it "Carol's Extravaganza." Walter was 53.