Here you will find information on the Toronto Homeless Memorial, event listings, and various projects from those involved in our network. If you have any questions, please email us here: torontohmn(at)gmail.com. Click here to go to the Church of the Holy Trinity website

 

Reverend Sherman and Bonnie, Co-Founder of the Toronto Homeless Memorial
Reverend Sherman and Bonnie, Co-Founder of the Toronto Homeless Memorial
Greg Cook
Greg Cook
Tom
Tom
Cathy Crowe, Co-Founder of the Toronto Homeless Memorial and Street Nurse
Cathy Crowe, Street Nurse, Co-Founder of the memorial
Michael Mallard a.k.a. "Duckie"
Michael Mallard a.k.a. “Duckie”
Michael Shapcott Twitter: @michaelshapcott
Michael Shapcott

Street Haven Choir
Street Haven Choir

Projects

Stone and Glass Art Installation

On March.9th 2016 , the Myseum event launch took place at The Church of the Holy Trinity that included art, live music, drumming, a historical church tour, food and activism.

The event was a collaboration between The Church of the Holy Trinity, The Toronto Homeless Memorial Network, and community artist Rebecca Houston. The premise for the installation is that most people aren’t aware of how many people die homeless and without support. The names of those who have passed away were projected onto the front face of the church in order for people to take notice.

Here is an excerpt from the flyer:
“We all pass briefly through the world, but we are not all treated the same. In Toronto alone nearly 800 people have died on the streets and in temporary shelters since 1985. Many die without a name, listed only as Jane or John Doe. Come for an evening light and sound installation honouring them and calling for change in their memory”

Artwork by Jim Houston
Rebecca and Rayna setting up!
Collage of projected names
We are all transient

 

Homeless Memorial Quilt Project

The Red Wagon Collective Saturday Art Group is a collective of low income; homeless (shelter users and street sleepers); inadequately/institutionally housed; recently incarcerated; and low income people.  They refuse to forget those whose lives have been abandoned by the state. Instead, they choose to remember, mourn, and organize.

Abbey's quilt at the National Housing Day of Action
Abbey’s quilt at the National Housing Day of Action

The project has inspired conversations around the housing crisis and the neoliberalization of homelessness. The quilt is a public way to remember those who have died while homeless and includes members of the community who wish to mourn the loss of loved ones.

The Homeless Memorial Quilt Project aims to create a mobile, accessible means of mourning in the homeless community. As many street involved folk are buried in unmarked graves in the far ends of the city. The collective plans to continue on in this project and have begun a second quilt for the year 2016. The Quilt Project will be shown at every memorial. They will have a table set up in the church for people to participate in the ongoing quilt project by painting the name of a friend or loved one who has died of homelessness on a fabric square. Each square will be sewn together for the next quilt.

Visit their website

Poems

The Great Divide (Poem by: Bonnie Briggs and Rev. Sherman Hesselgrave)

It was a special year: ninteen-ninety-one,
A year of infamy in rental history:
open season had begun
on apartment rents in buildings newer,
making access to affordable units
fewer and fewer

And then, this week we finally heard
the news of a rent hike so absurd
that even the Queen’s Park crowd opined
the marketplace had lost its mind
Perhaps, if the planets were aligned,
a legislative answer they could find.

What will it take, do you think
to see a new law signed in ink?
Reining in the unbridled greed
in a marketplace where millions bleed
their monthly incomes out of pocket
while landlords’ bank accounts sky-rocket

Just Say Hello (Poem by: Michael Mallard aka. Duckie)

I am really sorry that I did not know Johnny Doe or even his sister Jane
I am really sorry we didn’t even talk, or even say hello, good morning, or see you later
I am sorry that you were on the street, I was there once too
But I was lucky, I got a room
I am sorry no one told you hello, or where you can go for help, or to get out of the cold
I am sorry no one had the time to stop and even say good morning, or hello
But I am happy, now, cause everyone here today has a memory marble with them
I am happy now cause they will always remember you
I am sorry that you got lost or turned around and no one gave a damn
I have lost a lot of friends to the street over 20 years
Each year, there are more and more people on the street that I don’t even know
But I still say, how are you, hello
So when I pass people on the street, who I don’t even know, even that might help people
Someone took the time to just say hello
If someone said hello to me (I must be important you think!)
They took the time to just say hello

Upcoming Events

June.12th – Homeless Memorial at Church of the Holy Trinity. 12pm. Free lunch.

July.10th – Homeless Memorial at Church of the Holy Trinity. 12pm. Free lunch.

Aug.14th – Homeless Memorial at Church of the Holy Trinity. 12pm. Free lunch.

Sept.10th – Homeless Memorial at Church of the Holy Trinity. 12pm. Free lunch.

Oct.9th – Homeless Memorial at Church of the Holy Trinity. 12pm. Free lunch.

 

 

Latest News

April.13, 2018

100 People Died While Homeless in 2017, Prompting Calls for More Coordination with Local Hospitals

February.9, 2018

Homeless Memorial Honours in Death Those Who Struggled In Life

January.26, 2018

Death Toll Tied to Homelessness hits 94 in 2017

January.9th, 2018

Advocates Call for Better Services in Shelters, Respite Centres

December.29th, 2107

Concern for City’s Homeless Mounts as Toronto Braces for Frigid Night

December.8th, 2017

Find Permanent Housing for the Homeless

November.29th, 2017

Toronto Faith Leaders Urge City to Call Shelter Emergency, Open 400 Beds

October.30, 2017

Homeless Death Toll Hits 70 and Rattles Public Health Committee Members

September.12, 2017

Bonnie Briggs Remembered as Friend, Relentless Activist for Homeless

August.23rd, 2017

Remembering Toronto Housing Activist Bonnie Briggs

July.31, 2017

Make Data on Homeless Deaths Public: Editorial

July.27, 2017

46 Homeless People Have Died in Toronto So Far This Year

July.6, 2017

City to Expand Emergency Drop-Ins

May.30, 2017

Two Homeless Die A Week on Toronto Streets

May.25, 2017

27 Homeless Deaths in Toronto in Just Three Months

Apr.19, 2017

City Gives Homeless Budget The Slip

Mar.27, 2017

Parkdale Fixture Navneet Sondhi A ‘Good Soul’ Whose Life Was Cut Short

Mar.15, 2017

Four Names Added to Toronto’s Homeless Memorial

Jan.10, 2017

Toronto Now Counting The Deaths of Homeless People