On Saturday, November 19, 2022, our colleague and friend Augustus "Gus" Brown unexpectedly passed away. Gus was loved for his kindness, indomitable enthusiasm, sensitivity, and infectious optimism. As a former participant in Prevention Point's Housing Program, Gus was knowledgeable about our services from many angles, and forged sincere connections with current participants. Below are some reflections from staff about Gus and what he meant to the Prevention Point community.
Gus, sometimes we think we can still hear your laughter in the halls. You are missed every day.
Gus was a kind and gentle soul. He had faced more than his fair share of adversity and pain. In this last year alone he lost several people that really mattered to him and it shook him. Though he showed sadness and reflected on it, he never showed anger, and never stopped smiling and showing kindness and warmth and humor. You could count on him to turn a mood around with a warm smile, a revelation, a quote, a blast from the past, a joke, and, always, a compliment. He is missed. His soul is missed. His way is missed.
—Silvana, Head Director
Gus was one of those special people that always noticed you. It didn’t matter what was going on in his life, he would stop and give you a smile. When he talked to you, he wanted to listen. He wanted you to feel loved and special. The Syringe Services team knows that he thought we were “the hardest working crew in the building.” That phrase will always stay with me; I still think it every morning.
His humor and laugh were infectious. He always had a joke, comment, or thought that never really made sense but you could tell he thought it was hilarious.
His optimism stood out the most. For Gus, each day was a gift. He would tell me every day how blessed he felt.
He once told me that if he didn’t do anything else in his life, he wanted people to feel loved. Gus left us too soon, but I am eternally grateful for his gifts to me. I hope that he knows how important he is.
— Abby, Syringe Services Program (SSP)
Gus and I connected most Tuesdays and Thursdays in the morning with a big hug. He was a kind man, always gracious. He was struggling but always taking steps forward.
I miss you Gus. I so wish you were around. You were a light for hope.
— Kathryn, Art as Harm Reduction Workshop
Gus was one of those special people that always had a smile on his face and took the time to say hello and check in about how your day was doing. Chatting with him always made my day brighter.
— Dr. Jessica Meisner, Sana Clinic
Gus was such a big presence at PPP. Every single morning he'd come downstairs and give us all the warmest "good morning". He'd say, "if no one else told you they love you today, then I love you." Seeing him would always put me in a better mood. This work can be really challenging, so it was a gift to work with someone who was so full of light.
After his death I talked with some participants who shared the numerous little things Gus did to help them when they were struggling, whether it was just offering them a smile or an ear or a walk around the block. I know I can speak for everyone when I say we all miss him so much. Rest in peace Twin ❤️
— Emilio, SSP
Always when Gus would walk through my mail room, he always stops to look at the videos 📹 that were on. I miss him walking through my room. “Good morning, Miss Nancy!” Miss those words and that beautiful smile of his. Gus, now you are resting in peace. Love, Miss Nancy ❤️
— Nancy, PPP Post Office
Gus was a bright, intelligent, inquisitive and joyful presence at Prevention Point. Every start of the shift or day we would greet each other, check in, and chat about whatever was going on. He checked on me throughout the day and made sure to update me on what was going on for him.
He deeply cared about his work, participants, and colleagues, and this was clear in EVERYTHING he did. I miss him dearly already; he made such a great impact in the short time we worked together. We are all better for knowing him.
— Rebecca, former staff, Sana Clinic