In Memoriam

Testimonials:
Caitlin Wright Binning

June 29, 1966 - July 25, 2003




If there's a heaven

I am a lawyer, writing from Ohio.

I came to know "Cait" Wright as we affectionately called her... while working on a four year federal lawsuit in southwestern Virginia regarding the mistreatment of mentally ill pre-trial detainees. It was during this period in the mid nineties, I realized I had met not only a great resource and a person of inexhaustible energy on all issues of homelessness and mental illness but an advocate of unusual spirit and dedication, something on the order of one in a million.

Cait was THE go to person at Va-Nami who, whenever many in the various national offices of various orgs dedicated to the rights of the mentally ill often provided a perfunctory answer to a serious issue. One could always count on the spirit and knowledge of one amazingly committed individual to not only provide incredible practical insight into the problem or question, but also simply lift one's spirit because you knew she knew what the cost of taking on almost insurmountable odds in a system often tied completely to the legal status quo, was like. She was a true sister to those in need, be they the homeless or the sick in a mental hospital or those suffering needlessly, in a local jail due to incompetence and indifference to the individual civil rights....

If the country as a whole, had more Caitlin Wrights, what a wonder world truly this would be...

As it is, just because she lived and breathed on this earth, at this time, I feel imminently blessed and honored to have known this 'saint' among us....truly, anyone who knew her knows what I speak....

Though we only corresponded and wrote and spoke on the telephone for years, I felt as close to her in advocacy for the rights of the mentally ill as anyone I've ever met in my life. She epitomized the gospel's main ethic, "love your neighbor," when it was costly to herself and to those she worked with to do so...

Cait, I will truly miss you and mostly, I will miss your laugh and great 'shoulder' to cry on, after the latest 'battle of the day', that seems, endless but that much shorter now, now that you have crossed our paths and this good earth...

If there's a heaven, to be sure, all your friends will wait to see the heavenly reward that a lifetime of commitment to the shunned, the forgotten, the outcast and the sick, the needy and the truly isolated has gained for you...if one could be worthy to see... the same.

In sadness and tears,

Rich Olivito, Esq., Ohio

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