Martin Endeavors!!!

I am a social change writer, photographer, advocate, entreprenuer and speaker based in Washington, DC.

Check Out My Work!

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Would your group benefit from an expert speaker on homelessness?
Try Ken Martin!

Why Ken?
  • Washington DC native with multi-faceted perspective on the subject developed through years of experience! 
  • A man of integrity willing to tailor his presentation to suit the needs of your group.
  • It is difficult to find a willing speaker that is equally knowledgeable/qualified and credible! 

Related Work History:
  • VISTA Volunteer                                       Youth Substance Abuse Prevention
  • Community Improvement Corporation           Crisis Intervention Counselor
  • DC Coalition For The Homeless                                             Shelter Manager
  • Associated Catholic Charities              Transitional Counselor/Program Administrator
  • Martin Real Estate Services                              Business/Property Manager
  • Mortgage America/DC                                   Marketing /Business Manager 
Related Life Experiences:

Recovering alcoholic.
Former homeless college student.
Displaced by fire
One-time simultaneous owner of four homes relegated to homelessness
Has Hidden Disabilities and has same in parental experience. Over 80% of homeless have hidden disabilities.
Couch-surfer, Park Dweller, Airport Tenant, [even stayed overnight in warming station (under threat of arrest)]
(Former) Street Sense Vendor
Advocate, Writer, Forum Planner/Panelist, and Exhibited Photographer. 

Street Sense Highlights:
Photographed Living Legend Congressman John Lewis, D-GA

Interviewed former Senator Al Franken, D-MN
This one got me in the Smithsonian!

Participated with the Interactive Art Bus Project.

Contributor to National Presbyterian School Service Project
After hearing my spoken word "Can you see me?" and being "skooled" on Rap by Street Sense Vendor/Artist Marcellus Phillips this happened:

For more information or to discuss projects, please email Ken at 

Interested in acquiring my work or a guest speaker?

Contact Me Through Form Or Email

April 2015 Developmental Disability Month: My Daughter -  as printed in Street Sense

April 2015 Developmental Disability Month: My Daughter - as printed in Street Sense

One disability not only hidden but most frequently overlooked is Selective Mutism.

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You’re Not Smarter Than A Fifth Grader

You’re Not Smarter Than A Fifth Grader

I believe the children are the future.... I know We're not smarter than them. I only hope to remain wiser.

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Proud Moment!       As originally printed in Street Sense

Proud Moment! As originally printed in Street Sense

More than just an historic moment for me, This marked the first time a Street Paper was posted on The Newseum Wall!

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Barriers /Ken Martin

Barriers /Ken Martin

As originally printed in Street Sense.

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My Moments for the Jazz Masters*

My Moments for the Jazz Masters*

"A life without a soundtrack is not a life worth living!" ~~Ken Martin

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The Intersection of Art, Poverty, Activism as printed in Street Sense

The Intersection of Art, Poverty, Activism as printed in Street Sense

A discussion of Mixed Media and how it can be used to elevate the image of the homeless while generating resources to create positive domestic outcomes.

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In The News

Articles to which I've contributed

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The Dawn

It's the dawn of a new day.
The start of a new year.
The beginning of the best of my life.
I awaken bright and early,
energized and renewed.

Mindful of the unlimited potential for growth in this developing period in my life,
The Creator has provided me wisdom, freedom, strength
and the courage to pursue great feats of accomplishment.
I merely need to be thoughtful in setting my goals, pure in my intent, and
calm as I include others in my plan for they have their agendas and process.

Provided I do these things I will attain my goals, be cheerful, peaceful, calm
Breathe a sigh of relief as I achieve euphoria.
Poet/Scribe image
Call To Action  image
I dare to dream and dare to pursue.
My mission is to leave this place a little better than we found it.
Join me please in that quest.

Explore the work in progress that is  "Brims" ( 
See what I am building.
Visit Gofundme (updating...)
Help me create a voice for those who are voiceless.

For more information or to discuss projects, please contact Ken at

Still under construction, but the disclaimer integrity is sound.

To Whomever This May Concern:
This compilation of music related to the subject of homelessness does not belong to me. It was compiled by me. I claim absolutely NO Rights of ownership and likewise have no claims monetarily or otherwise on this (intended to be) heart rendering art!

In fact, the purpose of this selected group of tunes is not to offend or profit (although I could use it), but to serve as heart lightening salve for those who care enough to read the sometimes heavily heartbreaking book:”On Homelessness.” 

These selections were chosen strictly for their quality content as well as my respect for the artists and composers. It is my most sincere hope that the readers and listeners of this playlist will want to purchase and explore the complete bodies of work created by the respective contributing musicians. I hope that the musicians and surviving relatives will aid in that process by permitting their work to remain featured as a tribute to their God given abilities to evoke the powerful, soul stirring, human spirit, while serving to help those traumatized by “Homelessness.” It works... I'm living proof!!!

The Blues: A Playlist on Homelessness (+♫)

When you have no place to hang your hat*, you often discover yourself to be unwelcome, estranged, forgotten and friendless. Your needs too great and resources too few. Daily living leaves you feeling the B-L-U-E-S.
This is my take on the emotional symphony that is homelessness, as expressed by artists past and present. I am a survivor of the experience and can relate well to the frequent painful lows. But as you will discover, there are joyful rhythms and uplifting sounds even in painful circumstances — if we just allow ourselves to listen.

Playlist: Blues 4 The Homeless

These are the blues about folks with little and everything to lose.
We begin with:

 “Mr. Blues” by Hank Crawford, because when you start this journey it is empowered with hope, energy and wind in your sails.

 "Homeless Blues"  (1927) by Bessie Smith. If this has been a problem for that many years, what does it say      about America's humanity? Or should I say "inhumanity?"

“Blues for the Homeless” by Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters — need I say more?  I will. It was the discovery of this tune, one night while “resting” in Reagan Airport, that actually gave me the idea to compile this list. Earl is really a brilliant, yet unsung, guitarist.

"Nobody Wants You When You're Down and Out" by Bobby Womack - Simple truth.

"It's Cheaper to Keep Her" by Johnnie Taylor. The lyrics are wisdom that too many realize too late, even me!

“Hit The Road Jack” by Ray Charles, is pretty self-explanatory.
“Poor Boy Blues” by King Curtis & Captain Jack Dupree is the reality check. The truth begins to really hurt....

"Hard Times" by The Jazz Crusaders Times don't get much harder than when you are all alone with all you own in tow; no roof, no funds, no plan, no where to turn - let alone arms for consolation or hand to help you up.
“Fool’s Gold” by Lizz Wright tells us that I could blame someone else, but that I had a role in this.

"Broken Key" by Azymuth. A point of reckoning that I'm out here, no turning back and no doors are opening - only slamming on my wasted efforts to make a comeback.

"A Soul That's Been Abused" Ronnie Earl & Duke Robillard - Pain, emotional. Pain,mental. Pain physical. Blaming won't change a thing and Fault can't fix it! 

"If Trouble Was Money" by Albert Collins After a while You start to see the world through sleep deprived eyes. With empty pockets and hope fading, troubles become your "Road Dawgz." You start to question your mind's tricks and your body stops being responsive on demand, self doubt sets in. You just want to sleep and you dare not. 

“Sleeping On The Sidewalk” by Hank Crawford, a reminder of what you can find in every quadrant of this city, the hub of the capitalist free world. It’s become a national symbol of embarrassment!

"Sneakin' In The Back" by Tom Scott & The L. A. Express Survival sometimes dictates extreme behavior especially when the temperature dip is extreme.

"Sleepwalk" by Larry Carlton Its not what you do when homelessness renders you sleep deprived.
Its what you live!

Now to interject the homegrown D.C. medley: a modest tribute of blues music relative to D.C. artists and my own D.C. homeless experience.
“Blue Collar” by Gil Scott-Heron, D.C.’s Poet Laureate. The lyrics speak for themselves.
“Rocks In My Bed” by Dick Morgan Trio, a D.C. jazz icon. Many thought I had Rocks in "My Head!"
"It's Probably Me" by W.P.G. Trio - Unsung D.C Musicmen!
“All Blues” by Tim Eyermann and the East Coast Offering, another popular local group of jazzmen.
“24th Street Blues” by Lee Ritenour because during my early bench dwelling days in the street, I woke up facing 24th Street NW every morning.
“Blue Collar” a reprisal cover by Ron Holloway featuring Gil Scott-Heron, an updated treat by another Washington jazzman.

And for the final cadence:
“You Don’t See Me” by Al Jarreau, because you — for reasons I can’t fathom and you won’t face — don’t.
"Pusherman" (Superfly) by Dave Stryker Reality is that the homeless are prey for predators that cash in on their pain suffering by offering self anesthetizing as a cheaper solution for coping than community intervention.
“We Got By” from Al Jarreau, because ‘poor in pocket doesn’t have to mean poor in spirit.’
“Don’t Let It Get You Down” by The Crusaders, because ‘you don’t give in, if you aim to win!’
"Respect Yourself" by Gerald Albright If you don't Respect Yourself, ain't nobody gonna give a good....

“Better Not Look Down” by BB King and featuring The Crusaders with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is a reminder to keep your head up, eyes on the prize and persevere.

"Optimistic" by Straight Ahead I know first hand and have been told by more than not, when it comes to the positive outcomes workers tell you "you can not this and you cannot that but they virtually NEVER share way that you can reach your goals

“My Time Will Come” by Hubert Laws.  Because when we struggle to produce a positive outcome it is faith, hope and perseverance that enables us to prevail!
“Never Be The Same” by Ronnie Laws, because after a street life experience — and hopefully hearing these tunes — your perspective will be forever changed for the better.

"A House is Not A Home" by Joe Sample - It simply is not. It may be a roof and walls. It may even have a lock. But without love it remains a lifeless inanimate object. Everyone needs love, kindness, support - Humanity.
"Save The Children" by Marvin Gaye "Who REALLY Cares..."
“Night Breeze” by Bobby Lyle, for a cool transition back to your reality.

Thank you for this opportunity to share a bit of my lifestyle with you. 

Special Thanks to each of the featured artists. If not in part, for the music featured here and the "Heaven-sent" therapeutic vibe that each selection and others like them transmit, I strongly doubt I would be alive to share!  

Please remember that homeless people, though blue, don’t need your pity. They need your empathy, aid and INCLUSION.

Amazing Promos With Beautiful Backgrounds