Women in Black – a new record

Every time a homeless person is found dead outside or dies by violence in King County, WHEEL (a homeless women’s organizing effort) and the Church of Mary Magdalene (an ecumenical day ministry) mobilize for our silent witnessing vigil called Women in Black.

Today, we stand  in honor and memory of Timothy Koch, 50, who was run over by cars and killed on I-5 just north of I-90 as he attempted to cross the freeway on Saturday, August 15th.  He was a homeless person, and his last known address was a shelter in Tacoma. He is the second person to have been run over by cars near I-5/I-90 this summer while trying to cross the freeway within “The Jungle” greenbelt area.

It’s the FIFTH week in a row we’ll have stood vigil.

We have never had to stand with such frequency before in the whole 10-year history of the Women in Black vigils, and we are very worried.  In 2009 already at least 29 people have died outdoors or by violence in King County; many over this past summer in the State-owned greenbelt area known as “The Jungle.”  Two were murdered in “The Jungle” in a one-month period recently, and both murders are unsolved.

Women in Black are very concerned about all these deaths, the horrible causes of death (suicide, being run over by trains and cars, murder), and lack of available shelter.  Without shelter and loving community, people die.  This is exactly why Nickelsville and other day/night shelters are so desperately needed.

(Taken from the Women in Black press release)

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