Today we updated our homepage with a photo of two people - Gladys and Randy. A few years ago in Seattle they met local photographer and advocate Rex Hohlbein who does a beautiful job of telling the stories of those experiencing homelessness.
Gladys is Yupik Eskimo, and Randy is full-blood Native American, Sioux of South Dakota and Choctaw of Oklahoma. They are both homeless.
In the image on our homepage, Gladys made a small Christmas tree from leaves, roses and reeds to decorate the office of Facing Homelessness. She was known for sharing kindness even in her most times of need.
This past June Gladys unfortunately passed away, and we wanted to share this touching memorial post from Rex:
I am so very sad to tell you that yesterday Gladys passed away. She was a beautiful woman through and through, there are no words here that will be able to express the depth of her character, or her unique and wonderful enchanting way in life.
I can tell you that every single time Gladys came into our office she made me smile. Thank you for that Gladys.
Gladys is Yupik Eskimo. She is from the small town of Togiak, Alaska where she has many family members. To them I want to say how very very sorry we are for your loss, I know how often you called for her, talked with her, the constant LOVE you poured out to her, I know she is with you all now.
Gladys was also very much loved in the Homeless in Seattle community, everyone was touched by her charm, by her kind artful acts. Once, a few days before Christmas, she brought in a small bouquet of a woven reed-rose with grasses, twigs, and fall color leaves, that she had beautifully all tied together, she told us the office needed a Christmas tree.
Other times she would sit in the office weaving a basket, or a rose, or making small doll size leather mittens, or just telling us stories, it didn't matter, we all loved having Gladys spend time with us.
Gladys had been living in Plymouth Housing. I want to take a moment to shine a light on Plymouth Housing Group. They're giving so much more than a roof to those struggling with complexities of life, they give DIGNITY and HOPE, something Gladys went out into the world everyday with.
Please take a moment to look through the photos/stories in Gladys' ALBUM here on the Homeless in Seattle page, she is worth spending time getting to know.
We loveLOVE you Gladys, you will remain in our hearts and memories with all of the beautiful moments we shared. Rest in Peace my friend.” - Rex Hohlbein
In honor of Gladys and in support of sharing their image on HandUp, we contributed toward her partner Randy's goals who is still currently homeless. You can support Randy and others in Seattle through Facing Homelessness, an organization focused on raising awareness about and supporting individuals experiencing homelessness. Follow Homeless in Seattle and Homeless in San Francisco on Facebook.