On October 18, 2011, the Homeless Remembrance Project dedicated 13 Leaves of Remembrance at the WHEEL/Women in Black Vigil Site outside the Seattle Justice Center (at 5th/Cherry).

Pastor Pat Simpson led the ceremony as project artist Clark Wiegman laid the last three Leaves, for Tattoo Joe, Michael Lindsay, and Isaac Palmer. Family members of Tattoo Joe Gaerte and Michael Lindsay were here for the ceremony. All 13 names were read aloud, with all 70+ of the people in attendance calling “We remember you” for each one.

A reception was held after the ceremony in the Bertha Knight Landes Room of City Hall. Speaking: Reverend Pat Simpson, MC; Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata, who sponsored our use of the room; Carol Cameron, Chair of the Homeless Remembrance Committee; and Tom Dunne, who shared memories of Tattoo Joe Gaerte (whose parents came from Indiana for this Dedication). Anitra Freeman announced two special books on display at the event: “No Room of Her Own,” an oral history of homeless women, by Desiree Hellegers, with many entries about WHEEL and Women In Black; and “Beloved Community,” an anthology of poetry by homeless and formerly homeless women, edited by WHEEL. Naomi Watson sang a passionate rendition of “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” to close the program. Conversational groups formed to share memories and food, generously provided by Horizon House and Exeter House. Food remaining at the end was taken out to Occupy Seattle.

Photographs of the Dedication/Reception by Ion Gardescu, and photos of the Leaf Installation by Michele Marchand:

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Related Sites
  • Homeless Remembrance Project The main site of the Homeless Remembrance Project, with much more about the Tree of Life.
  • Mary's Place The only day center where homeless women can go with their children & co-sponsor of Women in Black.
  • WHEEL WHEEL (Women’s Housing, Equality & Enhancement League) is a grassroots organizing effort of homeless women.