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
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”
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.
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
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