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Larissa McRoy, 2020 MLK Jr. Community Service Award Recipient

Larissa McRoy, 2020 MLK Jr. Community Service Award Recipient

Larissa and her husband formed a nonprofit in 2020 to help people facing homelessness and fighting substance use disorders.

For Larissa McRoy, helping Baltimore City’s homeless population started with the simple act of making one sandwich. For five years, she and her husband, Kevin Allen, prepared and distributed thousands of sandwiches to anyone who was hungry on the streets of Baltimore.

Inspired to do more to help people like their nephew, who is homeless and battles substance use disorder, McRoy and Allen founded Humanity Over Humility in September 2020. Their nonprofit organization provides clothes, toiletries, food, blankets, tents and other supplies to people facing homelessness and fighting substance use.

The couple shares more than a passion for helping others. Both work in the radiology department at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, McRoy as a patient care technician and Allen as an imaging inventory specialist. Allen recalls the moment McRoy “caught his eye” in the hallway — they were married three years later. Their five children occasionally accompany them to homeless shelters to deliver string backpacks stuffed with socks, underwear and toiletries for men, women and children.

“It doesn’t take a lot to help others,” says McRoy, who finds it easy to hold meaningful conversations and connect with just about anyone. This comes in handy when she is placing a patient’s IV or transporting someone to their next destination.

Allen emphasizes the importance of not only showing up but coming back, time after time. When he or McRoy say they’ll return to a street corner with another round of toiletries or a warm blanket, they follow through. “They know you’re really trying to help if they see you again,” he says.

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