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WHEEL/Women in Black Vigil

June 14, 2017 @ 1:00 PM

Dear Friends of WHEEL/Women in Black:

From a new Medical Examiners Office list of homeless deaths we learned that at least three homeless deaths occurred outdoors or by violence in King County in May 2017, and that a newborn homeless baby boy died in hospital last month.

Then, from news reports and confirmed by the MEs, we learned that Dillon Graham, 24, was murdered in a pop-up encampment near Myers Way/Hwy 509 on June 6th.  A suspect is in custody.

And, yesterday, we learned that Willie “Bama” Tedder died in an accident near I-5/Dearborn earlier this week.

No words are able to express our sorrow.  This brings to 37 the number who’ve died outside/by violence already this year—by far, a record-breaking number of deaths.

 On Wednesday, June 14th, we’ll stand from noon to 1 PM outside the Seattle Justice Center (5th/Cherry) to honor these not-forgotten people:

**Scott Persons, 53, who was found at 3rd and Union and died a short time later at Harborview on 5/20; cause of death pending.

**Carlos Huaman, 26, who died at 4th/Pine on 5/30; cause pending.

**Douglas X. Smith, 64, who died in Tukwila on 5/30; cause pending.

**Dillon Phillip Gilbert, 24, who was murdered in a pop-up camp at Myers Way/Hwy 509 on 6/6.  A suspect is in custody.

**Willie “Bama” Tedder, 55, who died by accident near I-5/Dearborn this week.

We’ll dedicate this vigil to the homeless newborn baby boy who died last month at Swedish Hospital.

 Last week the Seattle Times published a page-A1, above-the-fold article about the deaths of homeless people in King County.  While we appreciate its prominent placement and focus on the significant rise in the number of deaths as a symbol of the crisis our community faces, the Times article neglected to report on many important facts and realities:

**The average age of death among homeless people in King County has gone DOWN this year.  Homeless people here now die at the average age of 45.

**There were FOUR hypothermia deaths late last year, and there’s been one already this year; the vast majority of these occurred when the Severe Weather Shelters were NOT open.

**The majority of all homeless deaths here occur outside of shelter, or by violence…at least 36 of 57 known deaths in 2017.  (Women in Black stand vigil for outdoor/violent deaths only.)

**The number of murders of homeless people is vastly disproportionate to the murders of King County residents at large.

**The number of homeless women dying has gone up over the past several years.

**And, the Medical Examiners Presumed Homeless Death Lists–and most local homeless remembrance efforts–would not have been possible without the skilled, passionate and loving organizing efforts of homeless women themselves, through WHEEL and Women in Black.


WHEEL/Women in Black
[email protected]
(206) 956-0334



June 14, 2017
1:00 PM
Event Category:




Seattle Justice Center
600 5th Ave
Seattle, WA 98104 United States
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