Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

Long before people knew about the Earth’s tilted axis and its orbit around the sun, they observed the Solstice, and created rituals around its occurrence. In our northern latitudes the nights grow longer until we reach this hinge moment. Though Spring is a long time coming, the turning soon begins, toward the light. Hope begins in darkness. In that spirit Women in Black remembered the homeless dead on the Winter Solstice, Wednesday, December 21st, 2016.

The people we honored were our neighbors, and in some cases, our friends and our kin. Many died heartbreakingly young, many by violence or accident. Even deaths we might call natural cause us to lament—for no one should have to die without shelter and safety. No one should have to live that way.

We reckoned with and remembered ALL the year’s outdoor/violent homeless deaths with a simple ritual, starting at sunset (4:21 PM) at the Tree of Life at Victor Steinbrueck Park. Joined by faith community leaders, we then walked in a silent, candlelit procession through the Market to Westlake Park where we silently stood vigil for one hour. Afterwards, we gathered together nearby for food and fellowship.

We extend our sincere gratitude to all who bore witness and stood vigil with us on the Solstice (Longest Night). Being in solidarity with 60+ people sure helped our hearts. We remembered by name 54 homeless women and men who died outside or by violence in King County in 2016: James Q. Tran, Jeannine Zapata, Jonathan Stanton, Blake Kimble, David Ramisky, Tonya Enriquez, Patrick Larner, Donald Parks, Alicia Nickerson, Harold McDuffie II, Gilbert Lopez, Chad Rogers, Dante Kelly, J.T. Grogan, John Watkins, Paul Rodrick, Richard Wenz, Francis Walker, Jr., Alex Kelley, Paul Fehr, Mark Woodley, Gary Oaks, Andrew Charlie, Norm Scofield, Scott McHone, Michelle Hargrave, Aaron Esposito, Abriannah Hicks, Bruce Loughridge, James “JR” Smith, Maja Brandli, Gena Ranger, Jordan Lemmel, Jacob Evans, Malcolm Spotted Calf, Tony Lee Fountaine, Sr., Renee Whitmore, Robert Dias, Louisa Campos, Earnest Readus, Jeanette Matthews, Michael Duwayne Gilbert, Walter Burton aka Stroud, Doneen Penn, John Nichols, Rachel Spradlin, Tung Truong, Skyler Velez, Michael Taylor, Rock LaFrance, Bruce Thomas, Tiffany Galsworthy, William Hackney, and Gene Pitzer.

Gathering at the Tree of Life.

Patrick Barredo of St. James Cathedral reads the ritual.

Reverend Pat Simpson of U Temple UMC, Lisa Gustaveson of SU, and Michael Ramos of the Church Council of Greater Seattle.

Candles by the Tree of Life.

Silent procession through Pike Place Market.

Pausing to light candles.

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Richard Harruff.

Supporter Susan Platt.

Supporters stand vigil with candles.

Supporter Sinan Demirel.

Supporters.

Elise DeGooyer of FAN leafletting.

Women in Black banner.

Supporters Hattie and Andrew.

Standing vigil.

2016 WHEEL WOMEN IN BLACK
LIST-OF-THE-DEAD in KING COUNTY

We are grateful to the King County Medical Examiners
and Health Care for the Homeless!

CAUSE
OF DEATH:

WHO:

WHEN:

WHERE:

SHOT
TO DEATH

James
Q Tran, 33

January

under
I-5 at S Atlantic

SHOT
TO DEATH

Jeannine
Zapata, 45

January

under
I-5 at S Atlantic

HEROIN
OD

Jonathan
Stanton, 36

January

Shilshole

SUICIDE

Blake
Kimble, 31

January

North
Bend

HYPOTHERMIA

David
Ramisky, 53

January

Federal
Way

OD

Tonya
Enriquez, 44

February

300
bl 2nd Ave Ext S

HEROIN
OD

Patrick
Larner, 60

February

E
Marginal Way/S Orcas

NATURAL
CAUSES

Donald
Parks, 83

February

Auburn
Park n Ride

HEROIN
OD

Alicia
Nickerson, 30

February

1100
bl NE Ballard Way

OD?

Harold
McDuffie II, 37

March

3rd
S/Edgar Martinez Way

PNEUMONIA

Gilbert
Lopez, 52

March

10th/S
Dearborn

ACCIDENT

Chad
Rogers, 44

March

Broadway/Denny

HEROIN
OD

Dante
Kelly, 47

March

800
bl S Jackson

PENDING

(tent.
ID) J.T. Grogan, 78

March

Tukwila
greenspace

HEART
DISEASE

John
Watkins, 58

April

Auburn
UHaul/Storage

OD

Paul
Rodrick, 56

April

1st/Yesler

RECYCLING
ACCIDENT

Richard
Wenz, 58

April

Woodinville

HIT
BY CAR

Francis
Walker, Jr, 77

April

300
bl S Lander

SHOT
TO DEATH

Alex
Kelley, 26

May

Federal
Way

HEART
DISEASE

Paul
Fehr, 40

May

Auburn/Interurban
Trail

LIVER
DISEASE

Mark
Woodley, 59

May

Renton

PNEUMONIA

Gary
Oaks, 58

May

Ballard

HIT-AND-RUN

Andrew
Charlie, 69

May

White
Center

SUICIDE

Norm
Scofield, 58

May

SODO

RUN
OVER BY CAR

Scott
McHone, 50

May

Denny
Triangle

METH
OD

Michelle
Hargrave, 39

May

Auburn

UNDETERMINED

Aaron
Esposito, 39

June

Bellevue
Library

HEROIN
OD

Abriannah
Hicks, 24

June

S
End (411 S Dawson)

NATURAL
CAUSES

Bruce
Loughridge, 53

June

woods
at 1437 Donovan

SHOT
TO DEATH

James
?JR? Smith, 20s

July

Fenster
Park, Auburn

DEHYDRATION/MALNUTRITION

Maja
Brandli, 29

July

Renton
(Black River Forest)

NATURAL
CAUSES

Gena
Ranger, 41

July

Klickitat
SW/SW? Spokane

HEROIN
OD

Jordan
Lemmel, 31

July

6th/Seneca

NATURAL
CAUSES

Jacob
Evans, 21

July

Hwy
20/HMC

HEROIN
OD

Malcolm
Spotted Calf, 54

July

near
Pike Place Mkt

HEART
DISEASE

Tony
Lee Fountaine, Sr, 45

July

near
Northgate Mall

HEROIN
OD

Renee
Whitmore, 47

August

9200
Myers Way

SHOT
TO DEATH

Robert
Dias, 50

August

Kent

SHOT
TO DEATH

Louisa
Campos, 32

August

Kent

NATURAL
CAUSES

Ernest
Readus, 60

August

Airport
Wy/Royal Brougham

HEROIN
OD

Jeanette
Matthews, 44

August

Airport
Wy/Royal Brougham

NATURAL
CAUSES??

Michael
Duwayne Gilbert, 71

August

Shoreline

RUN
OVER BY CAR

Walter
Burton aka Stroud, 19

September

U
District

RUN
OVER BY CAR

Doneen
Penn, 56

September

200
bl S. Lincoln

HEROIN
OD

John
Nichols, 35

September

4th/S
Holgate

NATURAL
CAUSES

Rachel
Spradlin, 39

October

?Jungle?
(MEs designation)

TOXIC
ASPHYXIA

Tung
Truong, 43

October

12th/S
King

SUICIDE

Skyler
Velez, 25

October

Auburn

SHOT
BY POLICE

Michael
Taylor, 44

October

under
I-5

PENDING

Rock
LaFrance, 59

November

Greenwood

2016 Winter Solstice Vigil

To join our
notification list for vigils & Action Alerts:

(206) 956-0334
email 
wheelorg@yahoo.com

Homeless Remembrance
Project on Facebook


2016 List of the Dead

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

 

YOU’RE INVITED to THE HOMELESS REMEMBRANCE PROJECT’s “Leaves of Remembrance” Dedication in BALLARD!!

Leaves of Remembrance Dedication & Reception
NOON Sunday, October 2nd
at Ballard Commons Park
(57th NW & NW 22nd)

Reception to follow at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
(5710 22nd Ave NW)

For more than a decade, The Homeless Remembrance Project–a collaborative community effort facilitated by the homeless women of WHEEL–has created places of hope, healing, and beauty to honor and remember homeless people who’ve died in King County.  The Project has two parts:  A beautiful “Tree of Life” sculpture and gathering place at Victor Steinbrueck Park (north of Pike Place Market), and “Leaves of Remembrance,” with names, embedded in sidewalks throughout the City.

ALL ARE INVITED TO WITNESS AND CELEBRATE the October 2nd dedication of NINE new “Leaves of Remembrance” around Ballard Commons Park (where 34 Leaves already are).

We’re remembering these beloved community members:
Jerry Burns, Selvin Iscoa, James Noren, Jonathan Stanton, Myles Carroll, Ann Zachariasen, Donald “Donnie” Zachariasen, Gary Oaks, & Corey Bardwell.

The event starts with a NOON Ceremony at the Park. Then there’ll be a chance to share stories, memories, and refreshments at a Reception hosted at St Luke’s Episcopal Church, 5710—22nd Avenue NW. Please join us!

For more information: (206) 956-0334 or email wheelorg@yahoo.com

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 »

You’re warmly invited to witness and participate in our LAKE CITY LEAVES DEDICATION 3:30 PM FRIDAY, JULY 29th at Seattle Mennonite Church (3120 NE 125th).  We’ll be dedicating four beautiful new bronze Leaves of Remembrance:

Reception at Seattle Mennonite Church will follow the Dedication.

This year, Women in Black statistics have broken our hearts and all previous records: At least 60 women and men have died outside or by violence in King County through November. To reckon with this injustice and remember those lost, we stood with friends, supporters, and faith community leaders on the Solstice, the Longest Night of the year, which was designated “National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day.” We gathered at sunset (4:20 PM) at our Tree of Life in Victor Steinbrueck Park, then silently walked through the Market to Westlake Park, where we stood for an hour-long vigil. Afterwards, we gathered together to share and remember those lost.


Reverend Pat Simpson’s words from the ceremony:

“Friends, we have gathered here on the longest night of the year. Long before people knew about the Earth’s tilted axis and its orbit around the sun, they understood these rhythms. In our northern latitudes the nights grow longer until we reach this hinge moment. Though spring will be a long time coming, the turning begins now, toward the light. Hope begins in darkness.

In that spirit we remember the dead this night—60 people who died while homeless in our community during the past year. They were our neighbors, and in some cases our friends and kin. Many died heartbreakingly young, many by violence or accident. Even deaths we might call “natural” cause us to lament – for no one should have to die without shelter and safety. No one should have to live that way.

We will remember these sisters and brothers with the simplest of rituals. Their names will be read, and we respond to each one by saying “We remember you.” One by one around the circle we’ll light a candle for each person as the name is read. Please hold your candles until all the names are read, and then I’ll invite you to place them around the Tree.

Now, please take hands with your neighbor, or make eye contact as a sign of our unity. We are one community. All kinds of people, all kinds of circumstances—we share the turning seasons, the sorrow of all this dying, and the outrage that fuels our action.

May we also be blessed with hope this season, so that in the growing light of days to come we will have strength to build a kinder world.”


Gathering at the Tree of Life.

Lighting candles.

Lighting candles.

Silent, meditative walk through Pike Place Market.

Silent, meditative walk through Pike Place Market.

Supporters and WHEEL members in the Market.

Vigil at Westlake Park.

More supporters vigiling at Westlake Park.

Vigil participants Monica and Jean.

Stalwart Leafleter Tricia.

Vigil at Westlake Park.

Closing circle.

The Tree of Life encircled with 60 Lights—one for each person remembered.

Candles for those remembered.

CandleWHEEL/Mary’s Place  WOMEN IN BLACK
Winter Solstice Vigil
FOR ALL 2015 OUTDOOR/VIOLENT HOMELESS DEATHS
MONDAY, DECEMBER 21st – starts at SUNSET (4:20 PM)
AT THE TREE OF LIFE in VICTOR STEINBRUECK PARK 
(N. OF PIKE PLACE MARKET)
then silent procession to Silent Vigil at Westlake Park (4th & Pine)5-6 PM then Post-Vigil Gathering @ the SHARE/WHEEL Offices (b/w 2nd & 3rd off Stewart)

December 21st is the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year.  

The National Coalition for the Homeless designates it “National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day.”  On this day, WHEEL (a grassroots organizing effort) and Mary’s Place (an ecumenical ministry) will stand a special one-hour, candlelight, Women in Black vigil to remember all the homeless men and women who have died this year outside or by violence in King County.  

Since our vigils began almost 15 years ago, more than 600 men, women and children have died outside or by violence.  In 2015, we’ve broken our hearts and all previous records:  at least 60 people have died already—at the average age of 48 years old.

2015 WHEEL/MARY’S PLACE WOMEN IN BLACK LIST-OF-THE-DEAD in KING COUNTY

Please join us for our Women in Black Solstice activities, starting at sunset (4:20 PM) at our Tree of Life!  Women and men are welcome; candles are provided, and we’ll join together for a post-vigil gathering to share stories, fellowship and comfort!

FOR MORE INFO:  WHEEL (206) 956-0334 wheelorg@yahoo.com

Download flyer for printing

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.

bronze leaf reading 'fallenleaves..org'ALL ARE INVITED TO CELEBRATE the September 26th blessing and dedication of six “Leaves of Remembrance” at a new site: Mary’s Place, which is hosted by Gethsemane Lutheran Church. The Leaves will be placed in front of the Stewart Street entrance to Gethsemane Church (911 Stewart).

We are remembering these beloved community members:
Phyllis Detienne
Susi Henderson
Sally Corbett
Kim Winters
Mai Huynh
Gail Nora Brackeen

The event starts with an 11:40 am Blessing and Dedication, and then there’ll be a chance to share stories and memories.  Please join us!

bronze leaf reading 'fallenleaves..org'ALL ARE INVITED TO CELEBRATE the September 25th blessing and dedication of two “Leaves of Remembrance” in front of the 15th Ave NE entrance to University Temple United Methodist Church (1415 NE 43rd).

We are remembering these beloved community members:
John Read Avery and
Lorraine Wong

The event starts with a 4:30 Blessing and Dedication, and then there’ll be a chance to share stories and memories.  Please join us!

 

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.

HRP 2015 solstice celebration leaflet

Featured Leaf Dec ’18

Jesse Vestal

Request a Leaf!
If you've lost a loved one who experienced homelessness in Seattle, you may request a Leaf for them.
Click here to find out how!
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