Best Pint-Swilling Friend of the Poor

The endearing little Irishman you see with a smile around the Pike Market Medical Clinic is Joe Martin, 56, a true-blue bleeding-heart liberal who is down in the trenches daily. On any given day, Martin is that "someone" you hope will come along to assist the soiled guy on the street corner or rescue the emotional lady being put out onto the street. Last year, the Boston-born social worker and Pike Market Medical Clinic co-founder was named Operation Nightwatch's Hero of the Homeless on account of his relentless advocacy for the poor and powerless. Three years ago, the Low Income Housing Institute honored him by naming one of its Georgetown renovation developments Martin Court. What he does to deserve these accolades is his job. Drop in on Martin for a few minutes and you might find him saving someone's life, such as the day he checked his messages and found a plea from a man on the verge of suicide. The man was about to lose his home, and in five minutes, Martin turned things around by quickly determining that the guy couldn't legally be tossed into the street, calming his nerves, and making an appointment to meet him and resolve the problem in the morning. He loves his work, by the way—not to mention the fact that his office is but a wee stroll from his regular evening pint at Kells.—Rick Anderson 1930 Post Alley, 728-4143.

 
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