Archive for the ‘Dedications’ Category

We’re thankful so many supporters and friends joined us on the Solstice for our candlelight vigil and ritual. We were blessed by the faith community’s embrace, with participation by Rev. Rick Reynolds of Operation Nightwatch, Patrick Barredo of St. James Cathedral, Father Jeff Gill of Trinity Episcopal, Pastor Kelle Brown of Plymouth Church, Rev. Pat Simpson of U Temple UMC, Rev. Marilyn Cornwell, and Michael Ramos, Executive Director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle. We’re beyond grateful for the partnership and compassionate leadership of King County’s Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Richard Harruff. Our friend Carl was called to create a banner for the vigil, with a carefully handwritten list of the names and ages of all of our homeless brothers and sisters who’ve died outside of shelter or by violence this year. What a powerful witness! Even in the holiday chaos of Westlake Park, many people stopped to read those names, one by one. One man learned on-the-spot that his friend had died while homeless earlier this year. He was devastated, but members of our community were able to hold our arms around him in his grief, light a candle with him, and say a few words of comfort. This was our closing message at the Tree of Life, and is our affirmation and wish for the New Year: “We are one community. All kinds of people, all kinds of circumstances—we share the turning seasons, the sorrow of the dying. May we seek peace for those who have died, and for those who continue to live without a home to call their own. May we also be blessed with hope, so that in the growing light of the days to come we will have strength to build a kinder world together.”


We had a very special, very emotional dedication of new Leaves of Remembrance at the Seattle Justice Center on September 12th. Sabrina Tate’s father, Tommi Tate, her mother Kellie Sevier, and a brother drove from Spokane for the ceremony. Her father said, “Now we have a place to come in Seattle to remember.”

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Sixty people gathered at Ballard Commons Park on September 9, 2018, to dedicate seven new Leaves of Remembrance, for Joshua Edward Thelen, Terry Cunningham, Vernon Maendele, Gregory “Greg” Nichols, Roxanne “Roxy” Baker, Kay De Witt Matteson, and Bevin Rebecca Armstrong. Read the rest of this entry »

On August 29, 2018, Leaves of Remembrance were dedicated at a new site, the Lake City Mini Park, for Norman Averill, Marco Stokes, Jesse Vestal, Christen Beaty and Paul Bernard Dehesse. Read the rest of this entry »

On August 25th , 2017 we finally dedicated and laid down 12 beautiful bronze Leaves outside Central Library for book-loving beloved community members. Pastor Rick Reynolds of Operation Nightwatch presided, and we were joined by many friends, supporters, and library staff and denizens. Library staff, we’ve learned, respectfully consider homeless people to be their “daily readers.” Read the rest of this entry »

WHEEL Women in Black stand vigil whenever a homeless person dies outside or by violence in King County. Since 2000, we stood vigil for 830 people. In 2018, the King County Medical Examiner and King County Public Health did an in-depth review of five years of deaths, 2012-2017, and found 162 people who had not been recognized as homeless at the time of their death. WHEEL researched these deaths and found that 82 of them were outside or by violence. These are people we would have stood vigil for at the time of their death, had we known. We chose this special time, the Summer Solstice, to name and honor them. This day symbolizes, for us, the long hard day for homeless people, and the growing darkness we are sliding into. Read the rest of this entry »

On June 5th, we laid ten new leaves in front of DESC to join the 22 leaves already there. Reverend Pat Simpson led the dedication ceremony. Friends and family of the ten remembered chose the placement of the leaves, and then everyone was invited to the community room of the Morrison for refreshment, sharing in a viewing of photos of those being remembered.

After the ceremony, as leaves were being installed, a woman came up to one of us and said, “There are more. I have more friends from the Morrison who have died. We don’t have headstones.”

That is why we do this. That is why we work so hard for the Homeless Remembrance Project. Read the rest of this entry »

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On May 21st, we blessed and dedicated five new Leaves of Remembrance around Ballard Commons Park. We were graced by the pastoral leadership and support of Pastor Britt Olson and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and many other supporters and friends.
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October 2, 2016

In a moving and powerful gathering, the Homeless Remembrance Project Committee dedicated and laid nine new Leaves of Remembrance around Ballard Commons Park. In the words of our presider, Pastor Britt Olson of St Luke’s Episcopal Church, the ritual embodied “the paradox of how mourning and joy can co-exist.” The dedication was done just after a St Francis Day blessing-of-the-animals in the Park; we were joined by many friends and family members who gave special meaning to the experience. Thank you!
Nine Leaves prepared for dedication at Ballard Commons

Nine Leaves prepared for dedication

The dedication took place after the Blessing of the Animals

A large group attended the dedication, which took place after the Blessing of the Animals

One of the women shows Pastor Britt photos of her friends

One of the women shows Pastor Britt photos of her friends


Friends & family chose the location for Leaves, & also lay flowers & rosemary sprigs.

Friends & family chose the location for Leaves, & for flowers & rosemary sprigs.

The Zachariasen family

The Zachariasen family present to lay Leaves of Remembrance for Ann & Donnie.

Pastor Britt Olson of St Luke's Episcopal Church

Pastor Britt Olson of St Luke’s Episcopal Church


Friday, July 29, the Homeless Remembrance Project Committee, in partnership with Seattle Mennonite Church, dedicated four new bronze Leaves of Remembrance in Lake City—for Scott Trezise, Eugene Menard, Steve Pond, and Robert Shand. Read the rest of this entry »

On Saturday, September 26th, out of the Mary’s Place morning worship service at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, we blessed and dedicated six new Leaves of Remembrance for our beloved sisters Phyllis Detienne, Susi Henderson, Kim Winters, Mai Huynh, Gail Nora Brackeen, and Sally Corbett. Here are a few photos from the ceremony.

Naomi Watson shares memories of her sister, Kim Winters

Mary’s Place staffer Liz shares stories of these beloved women.

Gethsemane Lutheran Church Pastor Joanne Engquist, Mary’s Place Pastor Monica Corsaro, and Liz McDaniel help lead the Dedication.

Laying and blessing a new Leaf.

Gathering before the Leaf Dedication

We dedicated and blessed two Leaves of Remembrance at University Temple United Methodist Church on September 25th, for John Read Avery and Lorraine Wong. We were honored to be joined by many from the University Temple ministries (the Friday Feast, the Thrift Shop, the Urban Rest Stop, ROOTS, the Needle Exchange) and by Emerald City Metropolitan Community Church. Childhood friends of John Read Avery and many who knew Lorraine Wong joined us and shared stories and memories of the beloved and real people they lost—too young—to homelessness.

John Read Avery’s childhood friends, Jim and Ron.

Pastors Pat Simpson of U Temple UMC and Brian Hutchison of Emerald City Metropolitan Community Church preside.

Gathering to dedicate Leaves for John Read Avery and Lorraine Wong.

The U Temple Thrift Store ladies listen to the blessing.

Pastor Brian Hutchison.

Jim and Ron, John Avery’s friends, share stories.

John Read Avery’s Leaf.

Lorraine Wong’s Leaf.

Homeless Remembrance Project Leaf Affixer Doug Hobkirk (known as our Glue-Down Guy) does his work.

John’s Leaf is affixed.

On June 18th, more than 80 people gathered to lay down and bless three new Leaves of Remembrance around Ballard Commons Park. They were homeless, once-homeless and never-been-homeless people gathered together, and the feeling of community love and spirit was extraordinary and profound. Early on, a Bridge Care Center worker had to go across the street to St. Luke’s church to fetch a box of Kleenex. Through the afternoon, many tears of grief and joy were shed.

The Ballard dedication timeline was driven by a special request made by Evelyn and Brian Gooch, parents of Dana “Fish” Gooch, whose Leaf was laid that day. Just two days after the Dedication Ritual, the Gooch parents were leaving Seattle, to enjoy their retirement in Arizona. They said goodbye to Seattle—and their beloved son—at our Leaf-laying Ritual.

We were blessed to watch them speak to their son through our Leaf for him, and also to witness them reaching out the hands of loving kindness to all of his friends and street family. It was wrenching to watch Fish’s parents say their final goodbyes.

Although they couldn’t always be together, Dana “Fish” Gooch never abandoned his family, nor they him. Dozens of Gooches were at the Dedication: his ex-partner, nieces, nephews, siblings and wonderfully community-centered parents. “Fish” was a special one, and many beautiful stories about his generosity and love were told.

Roger Andrews and Michael Franklin were also honored with Leaves at Ballard Commons, and friends and family came to remember their lives. One hilarious story, shared by a Ballard Foodbank staffer, involved the ever-entreprenurial Roger finding an abandoned commercial dryer in the parking lot of an industrial area in Ballard. “Wow,” Roger thought to himself, “it’d be great to sleep inside this dryer because, well, at least I’ll be dry!” This worked like a charm, but only until a delivery truck parked in front of the front-loading dryer door, preventing Roger’s exit-upon-awakening. It took a long time—Roger banging and shouting—before someone came, moved the truck, and finally let Roger out of his dry sleeping spot.

Not many stories about Michael were shared, since he was a very private and proud person who died alone in his RV in south Ballard. When it came time to select the placement location for his Leaf, Ballard outreach volunteer Jenn Adams said, “Well, this’ll be hard, since he didn’t like ANYBODY!” Eventually we found a semi-private sidewalk patch for Michael’s Leaf, alongside two folks he found tolerable in his lifetime. And so it goes.

Towards the end of the Dedication, Brian Gooch said—sweeping his arms around the large gathered crowd—“I thank each of you for every extra month, week, day, minute you gave our son with your love!”

May we take that as our marching order—to do the best we can shelter our homeless brothers, sisters, moms, dads, and children with love.

Preparing for the Dedication.

Brian and Evelyn Gooch, Dana “Fish” Gooch’s parents.

Brian Gooch, addressing his son Dana “FIsh” Gooch’s friends and family at the Dedication.

Betsy Greenman of the Homeless Remembrance Project leads the Dedication Ritual at Ballard Commons Park.

Gathering in remembrance.

Dana “Fish” Gooch’s family.

Friends, family, and supporters.

Not a dry eye in the park.

Homeless Remembrance Project Committee leader Betsy Greenman leading the Ritual.

Roger Andrews’ friend shares stories.

Ballard Food Bank staffer sharing the Roger-sleeping-in-a-commercial-dryer story.

Bobbie Newcomer

Jenn Adams talks of Michael Franklin.

Brian and Evelyn Gooch say goodbye to their son Dana.

Saying goodbye.

Reverend Pat Simpson of the Homeless Remembrance Project leads the final blessing of the Leaves.

A toast to Roger and other fallen friends.

Leaves Reception in the park, with refreshments provided by WHEEL’s Women’s Empowerment Center, Mary’s Place, and the Bridge Care Center.

Leaves Reception.

Love and comfort.

Leaf-Affixer Doug, with Gooches gathered behind.

Renee Black and Jenn Adams from Bridge Care Center.

Dana and Roger’s Leaves.

Ballard Commons Park Leaves.

On Sunday, October 12th, supporters, family, and friends gathered to witness and celebrate the dedication of 14 new Leaves of Remembrance in front of the 15th Avenue NE entrance to University Temple United Methodist Church (1415 NE 43rd). These were the first Leaves laid there!

With these Leaves, we remembered these beloved community members: Bob Quinn, Chris Stevens, Renee DeWolf, Lance Loder, Frederick “Teddy” Locke, Frank Zanella, Cindi Colleen Attison, Korey Klein, John Read Avery, Russell Hennen, Joan Schaller, Michael Doubles, Michael Lovelady, and Aaron Burgess. 

The prepared Leaves

Reverend Pat Simpson of the U Temple UMC leading the ceremony.

The ceremony continues.

Friends, family, and supporters witness the ceremony.

Ceremony continued

More words shared.

After the ceremony.

Laying leaves.

Laying leaves.

Frederick “Teddy” Locke’s Leaf

Lance Loder’s Leaf.

Chris Stevens’ and Renee DeWolf’s Leaves.