In 2011, a memorial was dedicated to those who have died on the streets of Buffalo homeless. The outdoor memorial rests at the corner Memorial and Paderewski drives, next to the Matt Urban Hope Center. The memorial always catches my attention when I am driving around traffic circle. I don’t stop each time, but I do periodically to say a prayer for and reflect on the homeless.
The memorial also serves as the local location for a national event which happens once a year. “The homeless memorial is a national advocacy event, held on the winter solstice at sunset, where we recognize everyone who died while homeless. We read their names (which are collected through the year) and let people speak about the person who passed, invite their family. Everyone gathers in the Hope Center afterwards for coffee and cookies and to reflect on the people and the work,” according to Christine Slocum, secretary of the board for the WNY Coalition for the Homeless.
It’s great to have this moving tribute to the homeless in the neighborhood. It’s also great that people remember those who have died homeless.
Here are photos of the memorial: (click on images for full view)