The body of Jesus is taken down from the cross.
The rubble of the King Dome.
SHARE's first Tent City was set up here on Thanksgiving in 1990. Out of that first Tent City grew the Aloha Inn, Noel House, and SHARE's overflow shelter system - also StreetLife Gallery, "the home of homeless art," a self-managed artists' cooperative for homeless and low-income artists.
SHARE is a group of homeless and formerly homeless men and women who organize for survival and long-term change to the root causes of homelessness. WHEEL began in 1993, growing out of SHARE, and is a group of homeless and formerly homeless women focusing on the problems specific to homeless women and also working for long-term systemic change. SHARE and WHEEL are brother/sister organizations.
I am a member of both SHARE and WHEEL. I've stayed in Noel House and in the SHARE shelter system, and participated in the Tent City of 1998 and the Tent City of 2000.
This is one of my memories of Tent City 2.
Summer, 1998. City officials bulldozed the area where most homeless people who couldn't find shelter slept, without providing any other alternatives. SHARE/WHEEL set up tents on vacant Park Department land below the Beacon Hill Reservoir. Several weeks went by quietly. The Police sent people to us when all the shelters were full. Then they ordered us to take down the tents or be arrested. We took the tents down and moved to a grown-over area below Jose Rizal Park.
The trail down to camp sloped sharply and wound through a thick growth of trees. It felt a little scary in the dark. But I could hear Angel singing. Angel stood tall, thin, black, and came to us without any shoes. She said someone stole them from her the last time she fell asleep. She chose to sleep out in the open, in the middle of the circle of tents. She said she felt safe there. Somebody here found shoes for her. Angel sang, almost all the time, in a high gospel voice.
Two weeks later the City bulldozed the Jose Rizal camp, too. I heard Angel sing once more, at a Thanksgiving dinner where StreetWrites performed. I haven't heard her since.