Posted on 12/23/2013
Related Articles: Posting Updated 9/25/2014
On December 21, 2013, Wellhouse organized an event to memorialize homeless people who died while homeless, National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day is recognized in various communities across the country. In 2012, approximately 153 cities in 40 states and the District of Columbia held Memorial Day events on or around December 21 to honor those who died while homeless.
A reading was done by Jeff Smith – Urban Farmer/Food Justice Educator (pictured on right) of individuals who have died living on the streets of Grand Rapids since 2009, “but even one is too many” was expressed by Tami VandenBerg the Well House Executive Director of Grand Rapids, Michigan. During the reading I was reminded of “those who died, the celebration” and the completion of 632 Cass which provides housing for 4 people who were experiencing homelessness.
My silent words gave way as I continued to take pictures and viewed those who attended this commemorative event. Finally, I gave pause to slither back to a time when my family and I was homeless. Where had I gone for so many years to forget that terrible experience, I wondered. I’m torn but thankful to have been reminded; it’s easy to forget were you’ve been when it brings back such awful feelings. We are so blessed, when we take the time to remember the hardest of times or simply try on shoes again that didn’t fit. Please remember the homeless this Holiday Season and through out the year.
War on the Poor Reaches New Low as Living out of Your Car Becomes Illegal
Palo Alto, Calif., Citing an artcle from the The Wall Street Journal by Zusha Elinson April 8, 2014: Robert Dolci, homeless-concerns coordinator for Santa Clara County, called the vehicle-dwelling ban in Palo Alto “horrible.” “With the dearth of affordable housing for folks, sometime they have no other option,” said Mr. Dolci. He said that with a low vacancy rate and rising rents, landlords aren’t necessarily eager to rent to people with spotty employment and credit or limited government housing subsidies.
Temporary housing isn’t easy to find either, with just 26% of the area’s homeless in shelters any given night, the third-lowest percentage among major metro areas, according to a 2013 report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Credit: Girbe Eefsting – Film Producer at Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation and Producer/Director at Film Farm
Providing shelter, housing and community for our homeless neighbors since 1978.
Well House is a 501(c)3 organization.
Homelessness is a Public Health Emergency. The lethality of street homelessness is on par with some forms of cancer, cutting a person’s life by an average of 25 years.
We provide low-cost rooms for rent. We give priority to people that cannot access other housing for people that are homeless.
*Fostering a supportive environment focused on connectedness and without conditions.
*Results-oriented approach based on data and research.
*The Well House style emphasizes living gently on the earth and with each other.
*Recycling, gardening, energy-conservation, gathering, sharing, and respect are prominent features.
Tami VandenBerg – Executive Director, Jodi Smith – Director of Operations, Jean Olds – Housing Specialist, Camilla Voelker – Urban Farmer/Market Coordinator, Jeff Smith – Urban Farmer/Food Justice Educator, Aaron Rewa – Maintenance/Asst. Farmer
Collate and distribute resources for the homeless.
Please help by volunteering or donate to the Wellhouse 19:1 Campaign.
I Can’t Change the World
Inspiring article: Homeless Man Is Brought To Tears- The Reason Why Will Make You Smile (VIDEO)