Greg was a tireless advocate for the homeless, and found endlessly creative ways to get people off the streets and on their feet. He never, never, never gave up. He built Francis House from the ground up, and it serves thousands upon thousands of people who have no other place to turn. The world has lost a saint.
I saw him last in June at a tribute by Sacramento Cottage Housing for Catholic Bishop Francis Quinn. I've always been amazed at how the various organizations working on homeless and poverty issues in Sacramento have been able to work closely with each other. A big reason for that was Greg and his willingness to find the good in everyone. He didn't have a territorial bone in his body.
Greg Bunker worked with homeless folks on a daily basis. And he spoke truth to power, getting at the heart of seemingly simple things that had a huge impact. I worked with him lobbying legislators when he discovered that ex-cons were being paroled from prison with no Department of Motor Vehicles state identification cards (and thus could not apply for a job). Greg was relentless on that issue and so many others, and he won powerful converts like Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.
When the state of California invoked its imminent domaine rights to claim the property of Francis House so that the state could build the (infamous) East-End office project, many thought it was the doom of Francis House. But not Greg. He found an old building over on C Street, and built Francis House bigger and better.
Greg was a prodigious fund-raiser; he managed to get United Parcel Service to give $100,000 to rehab the old building -- the largest charitable gift in the history of UPS. That was an amazing day when Greg called to announce the grant.
Here is a video of Greg at the tent city in Sacramento, protesting how homelessness has become virtually a crime: