Women in Black

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.  On Wednesday, February 17th, we will stand vigil to honor and remember:

  • Randy Leonard, 52, who died on February 1st in Lake City; he was found near the intersection of 120th St. NE and 10th Ave. NE.  The cause of his death is not yet determined. 

Randy was a beloved member of the Lake City community of homeless and housed people.  According to his friends, Randy had a large extended family.  He was known to love the outdoors – hunting, hiking, motorbike riding and camping with his children.  He worked in the Carpenter’s Union and was an accomplished mechanic.   He was a student of philosophy, an accomplished guitarist and harmonica player, and also a painter.  He brought joy and gifts to many, and managed to love amidst his suffering.

A memorial service was held for Randy Leonard at the Seattle Mennonite Church on Friday, February 12th.   Our hearts and prayers go out to Randy’s friends and family.

The number of known homeless deaths outside or by violence in 2009 was at least 36.  The majority of these deaths were caused by violence.  This is exactly why Nickelsville and more day/night shelters are so desperately needed.    We are also keenly aware of the fact that the Lake City community has been particularly hard-hit recently, with five deaths in the past two years.  PLEASE JOIN US IN SOLIDARITY!

(Taken from the Women in Black press release)


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