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…
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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…
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…
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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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.