On Wednesdays when I head out to pick up lunch I often walk by City Hall. Walking through the city, a lot of people try to hand me things. It’s not as bad as, say, 14th Avenue in NYC, or the strip in Vegas, but I’ve gotten to the point where I generally ignore flyers. But I always take ones from the Women in Black.
The Vision of Women in Black
For 12 years, beginning in May 2000, WHEEL (a homeless women’s organizing effort) and the Church of Mary Magdalene (an ecumenical day ministry to low-income women) has held Women in Black silent witnessing vigils honoring the lives of homeless individuals who have died while living on the streets of Seattle. Their efforts to draw visibility to this issue have focused the attention of local media, city government and the general public.
In 2003, our Women in Black began working to create a place where everyone may gather to remember those who have passed under these most unfortunate circumstances. It is our intent that such a place will provide comfort, greater understanding and a sense of ‘home’ for both the homeless and housed communities.
Ultimately, we hope the creation of this place will signify a moment in history when we collectively recognize the need and develop the will to bring an end to some of the many causes of homelessness.
I really appreciate that there is a group in this city reminding people of the needs of the homeless. I don’t know what to do about it, but I know what we’ve been doing isn’t working. As long as people are dying on the street, society is doing something wrong.