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About Us & Our Mission

In Memoriam: Dyanne Peeples

By Richard Zitrin

Dyanne Peeples, the nurse practitioner who suffered a series of reversals, became a bar association HAP client, and reemerged triumphant, died May 17, 2006 of cancer at Coming Home Hospice. She was in her mid 50s.

Peeples was awarded a B.S. from Fisk University and was both a registered nurse and one of California’s first licensed nurse practitioners. Her successful nursing career was interrupted by the destruction by fire of her Montclair home and then the long absence of her son, who at 14 was removed from her home by her ex-husband. These circumstances, beyond her control and exacerbated by serious health issues, left her in debt, without a job, and with her professional licenses suspended. She fought back with the help of VLSP staff and volunteers, proved the debt was due to her ex-husband’s fraud, regained her licenses, and again went to work as a nurse.

At the BASF Foundation’s first gala in 2004, Peeples told the 700 people in attendance what it felt like to be “invisible” to others for the first time in her life, and asked the audience to identify with the experience of homeless and other people who have fallen on hard times. She pleaded for those in attendance to “open your hearts and your checkbooks” to help those less fortunate. Her remarks resulted in a flurry of checks and put an exclamation point on her own journey.

In her last days, Peeples was reunited with her son, Royal Cotton III, who spent most of her last week at her side, enabling the end of her journey to be a peaceful one.

Learn about the Homeless Advocacy Project.