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KW Homeless Memorial

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We invite you to contribute to the KW Homeless Memorial/Between a Rock and a Hard Place .

This initial sculptural work in bronze and red sandstone will be created in recognition of the people in Kitchener and Waterloo, who have experienced homelessness on our streets and lost their lives. 

You can help us provide a place to recognize and mourn the loss of lives due to homelessness. We want to create an anonymous memorial to keep their spirits, energy and hope alive and to honour their memories.

Your support is crucial to raise awareness of the issues that surround homelessness, such as the opioid crisis, and all the lives that are falling through society's safety net, only to disappear.

The project KW Homeless Memorial /Between a Rock and a Hard Place is initiated by Suzi Gursoy, who personally experienced homelessness and has inspired a group of people to work together and realize a lasting memorial. She states that a backpack represented all that she had left and valued on her personal journey.

This new sculptural work, created by visual artist Ernest Daetwyler, will consist of a backpack cast in bronze with a plaque placed on a rectangular red sandstone slab, installed in a public park of the Region of Waterloo.

The sedimentary sandstone beneath the backpack was shaped by nature and the elements over a long period of time, previously used as a stepping stone to a historic public building. On rainy days, the stone is brought to life with water collecting in ever-changing forms on the surface. Water is often referred to as an expression for the subconsciousness, while the natural stone is a metaphor for memory and the past.

The project cost for the KW Homeless Memorial /Between a Rock and a Hard Place is $25,000. 

We need your help to make this possible. Become a supporter of this notable, important and possibly life-changing initiative for vulnerable members in our community. Please donate here!

You can also send/drop off a cheque payable to Ray of Hope (make sure to indicate KW Homeless Memorial). 
Mailing address: Ray of Hope, Att. Jessica VanEs, 659 King St. E., #100, Kitchener, ON, N2G 2M4, Canada
e-mail: [email redacted]

All donations will be mentioned on a respective appreciation board to be presented in participating centres. Please spread the word, feel free to forward and share this fundraiser, volunteer and assist to realize this important memorial project.

Your support is needed immediately to allow creating the sculptural work this winter and complete the project in Spring/Summer 2019.

The KW Homeless Memorial committee is a grassroots group formed by staff/members of Ray of Hope (Jessica VanEs), The House of Friendship (Nicole K.), oneROOF (Meghan S.), The Working Centre (Sara E.), YW (Cathy M.), the Mennonite Central Committee (Cindy MacRae); Suzi Gursoy, Rosalind Keith and many others, including hopefully you, joining us soon.

To become a part of our team, please e-mail and leave your info with [email redacted] 

Thank you very much for your consideration. Please check out the initial facebook page KW Homeless Memorial to like, follow and share the info!

Photo: Suzi Gursoy, Head of Campaign, sitting on the refugee bundle water fountain within The Luggage Project by Ernest Daetwyler, Victoria Park entrance, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.


Ernest Daetwyler
Kitchener, ON

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