After 13 years of standing in the cold, wet rain 400 times to honor the passing of one of Seattle’s homeless people, Women in Black and WHEEL (Women’s Housing and Equality Enhancement League) dedicated a permanent memorial to remember the homeless people who lived and died in Seattle. Artists Clark Wiegman, Karen Kiest and Kim Lokan created the “Tree of Life” sculpture with missing leaves. Bronze leaves with the names of the deceased Seattle citizens have been “scattered in the wind” to various places in the city.
Victor Steinbrueck Park, the location of the sculpture, overlooks Puget Sound at the center of Seattle tourism. Many homeless people, especially the very hardcore street people, spent their days in the park. The location re-enforces Seattle self image as a city that cares about others. And the fact of the memorial itself gives dignity to the lives of people without a consistent home.
The Homeless Remembrance Project maintains a website, Leaves of Remembrance, to document the homeless people that have died in the Seattle area. The oddest part of the website is the lack of information about many people. No picture. No story. Just a name with date of birth (maybe) and death. Just like an old graveyard.
Other Memorials (Please comment with other links)…………………………………..
“National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day”
Since 1990, the National Coalition for the Homeless has encouraged memorial services across the USA on December 21. In 2011, 157 communities across the United States held “National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day” events.