Glenys Carl was born and grew up in Wales. She met and married an American, and rapidly found herself a single mom. In the mid-sixties she emigrated to America with her three young sons, and worked in Detroit’s first Head Start program. Later she moved to northern California and worked in early childhood development, including associations with the University of California and Stanford Research Institute.
With her sons grown and going their own ways, Glenys returned to Europe. Her life took a very different turn when Scott suffered a nearly fatal accident.
Once Scott was discharged from the hospital, Glenys found them an apartment, but immediately discovered she was not physically capable of providing all the care that Scott required. She began reaching out to the neighborhood for help, button-holing strangers and posting hand-printed signs on telephone poles. Over the course of three years, she recruited hundreds of volunteers of all ages and all walks of life to assist with Scott’s daily living needs and rehab, and to give her necessary respite from the relentless work of a caregiver. Eventually, she moved Scott back to England and repeated the exercise of setting up a caregiving circle for him there.
Sadly, Scott died in 1991. Life brought Glenys to Santa Fe, where she found herself in the middle of the AIDS crisis. She could not ignore the huge unmet need for care of those suffering and dying from AIDS. Working from home, she used the skills she had learned caring for Scott, training volunteers to work with the gay community, their families and friends, providing not just practical, but emotional and spiritual end-of-life support. In 2007, she created a non-profit, The Coming Home Connection, helping those who otherwise fall through the gaps in the health care system. Since then, Coming Home Connection has trained 450 volunteers and provided over 350,000 hours of free and low-cost in-home care.
In 2018, Glenys handed over the responsibility for managing Coming Home Connection to its able and committed staff and Board. Now in her ninth decade, she is focused on opening Scott’s House, a hospice residence for people for whom dying at home is not an option. When Scott’s House opens its doors, it will greatly increase hospice residence capacity in Santa Fe beyond the two hospice bedrooms at Casa Cielo created by Coming Home Connection in the summer of 2019.
Glenys’ story of her personal journey that led to founding Coming Home Connection is told in her book Hold My Hand (2005, 2008), available at the Coming Home Connection office for a $15 donation.
Coming Home Connection puts out a newsletter approximately quarterly. It targets our caregivers, but is available to anyone who is interested in the details of our work.