Posts tagged “homeless

Honoring the Forgotten

Greg - HomeFirst MemorialSanta Clara County-based HomeFirst envisions a community where everyone has a home.

However, dying on the street happens with far too much regularity. An annual memorial organized by Homefirst is intended to put names to the numbers, and provide dignity and closure to those who died homeless. Homefirst has organized this memorial annually since 1999, and since then 793 homeless have been remembered. The silver lining is that the annual toll has been trending downward in recent years — dropping from a high of 81 in 2008 to 33 this year.

Greg was asked to share a song at this year’s memorial, and he chose Van Morrison’s Into the Mystic. He’d sung it in 2012 for the memorial of his friend and band mate Bruce Bruckelmeyer, and it seemed a fitting tribute both to Bruce, and to those remembered here.

Read more and see more photos in the Bay Area News Group article.

The names of 28 men and five women slowly were read. Their average age was 56. Causes of death were not listed. But living on the streets was, at the very least, a contributing factor for all of them. Candles, placed in the shape of a heart, flickered for each one.

John Beech, 55, 10/6/2014
Daniel Brillhart, 52, 11/28/2013
Gloria Bush, 72, 11/28/2013
Scotty Davis, 55
David DeLima, 61, 11/19/2013
Dionne Douglas, 47, 6/20/2014
Edward Garcia, 59, 2/6/2014
Manfred Geister, 57
Valerie “Bunny” Good, 73, 4/24/2014
William Graham, 70, 6/19/2014
Andrew Greenleaf, 48, 12/5/2013
Oscar Gutierrez, 38, 3/5/2014
Phillip Haughton, 56, 3/1/2014
Darrell Howington, 49, 11/1/2014
Joseph Indalecio, 56, 12/30/2013
Craig Jackson, 54, 5/9/2014
David Kibbe, 52, 3/13/2014
Jeffrey Knipp, 49
Jeffrey Lim, 56, 7/30/2014
Glenn Masuda, 57, 12/27/2013
George Merino, 50, 3/3/2014
Daniel Moore, 53, 12/5/2014
Sheree Mullin, 38, 2/7/2014
Patricia Orozco, 54, 8/19/2014
Robert Pelech, 51, 3/31/2014
Troy Reichman, 46, 12/20/2013
Steven Ritesman, 57, 5/26/2014
Enrique Rubio, 56, 12/4/2013
David Sanchez, 58, 10/10/2014
Stanley Saso, 59, 4/24/2014
Larry Vallejos, 69
Harold Vaughn, 61, 1/30/2014
Judy West, 68, 10/30/2014

What is Enough, and what is madness?

We were in the middle of mixing Love Can Change The World when the messages from Tom Shadyac’s documentary, “I Am – The Film” worked their way into a rhythmic chant…

What is enough, and what is madness?
Where do we stand along this path of sadness
Follow the line between hunger and greed
How much do we need?

The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations spread throughout the country, and the voices are being heard. Every day we balance our bills with our established level of comfort, and even with our nervousness about the future we remind ourselves of how much better off we are than so, so many people in our country and beyond.

Changing the world starts with each one of us. We’re not begrudging those who are financially successful. We just need to ask ourselves, what is enough? How much do we really need, and what can we do to make this a country – and a world – where children don’t go hungry and everyone has access to healthcare?