By Sharon Lee
I am sad to announce the passing of former LIHI boardmember Alan Castle on January 11th at the age of 81. Alan was an indefatigable advocate for veterans and homeless people both during and after his 28 year career as a social worker at the Veterans Administration Medical Center where he served as the Program Coordinator for the Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program. Alan was instrumental in assisting LIHI and other local non-profit housing organizations in receiving services from the V.A.'s Grant Per Diem Program and from the Social Security Administration.
Alan served on the LIHI board for 10 years from 2006-2016. During Alan's tenure on the board he was an invaluable resource and advocate for veterans housing and homelessness issues. Even after leaving our board Alan was a ubiquitous presence at civic and community events, including LIHI groundbreakings and grand openings, always willing to take the podium to speak to the importance of housing and shelter in stabilizing and improving the lives of veterans. He was a huge fan of the Urban Rest Stops and Tiny House Villages.
Alan also served as a community member of the Salvation Army/William Booth Shelter Advisory Board and on the Board of the Sandpoint Community Housing Association.
I can't believe we won't be seeing his famous white beard at our events anymore. I never met a man less interested in retirement than Alan. He emailed me his ideas and advocated for veterans tirelessly until the end. My heart goes out to his wife Susan, son Josh and the rest of his family for the loss of this wonderful man.
LIHI Board President Melinda Nichols told me, "I served on the board of LIHI with Alan for many years. He was compassionate, enthusiastic, committed and kind. I was sorry when he left. The positive thing was that his son Josh was hired to work at LIHI. He was a wonderful guy. I will always love the Castle family."
Alan with the LIHI Board in 2014