Homeless Memorials

Boyd McLaughlin died on November 2, 1995 at the age of forty-four.

Boyd came into Seattle's StreetLife Gallery, "the home of homeless art", fresh off a greyhound from Montana. He was trying to get off of cocaine and turn his life around; he threw his life into the Gallery.

In a year Boyd went from homeless and searching to housed and working as a prolific, self-taught artist offering inspiration, instruction, love and generosity to hundreds of artists walking in off the street looking to the Gallery for healing themselves.

He was at the Gallery eight or more hours a day, seven days a week, and the service providers who managed the Gallery at that time became concerned about him. They insisted that the Gallery close two days a week, Wednesday and Thursday, so that Boyd would have some time to himself.

Within two months, Boyd was dead. On a Thursday night.

It may be circumstantial, or not. But please hesitate the next time you want to decide for someone else what is best for them.

P.S. The StreetLife Gallery is now under self-management and open seven days a week.

A poem for Boyd, by Anitra Freeman