The homeless deaths memorial sculpture is a public artwork being created to provide a place to remember people who have died whilst homeless. People who lose their lives whilst homeless often have no funeral or remembrance service. This artwork is self initiated and driven by the strong emotional connection many of our participants have to the issue.
Through the memorial we intend to:
Create a peaceful and meaningful artwork that provides solace and a place to mourn.
Highlight the risks associated with homelessness and encourage people who are homeless to seek help.
Bring the issue of homelessness to a wider audience and encourage the public to support local organisations and campaign for change.
HOMELESS DEATHS MEMORIAL SCULPTURE
In 2021, an estimated 741 homeless people died in England and Wales - 54% higher than when records began in 2013.
The average age at death was 45 for men and 43 for women. This is more than 30 years lower than the average age at death of the general population.
The artwork has a provisional agreement to be placed in Brighthelm Gardens in central Brighton.
Brighthelm Centre and Church have a long history of supporting homeless groups with one of the earliest support groups operating from the crypt in the church.
Placing the sculpture here will make it visible for millions of visitors to Brighton who walk down the hill towards the seafront, helping to bring awareness to the issue.
A co-created artwork
From the very start of the project it was clear that the artwork not only had to represent the homeless community but that the design should also originate from people who had experienced homelessness and families and friends of those no longer able to contribute. For this to be possible we set out on a process of co-creation, looking for ways to empower people who wouldn’t usually get involved in ‘creative’ activities or consider their input important.
This ethos has remained throughout the project in the form of a committee, art packs, outreach sessions and the establishment of a workgroup. As the sculpture is constructed, we will create opportunities for further involvement in manufacture and installation.
We need your help
We are crowdfunding for this artwork as we believe it should be something owned by the community and a show of support for the need for change to our systems that allow so many people to live and die on the streets of the UK. We are grateful for whatever donation you are able to give and if you aren't able to donate we would appreciate you sharing this on social media and directly with your friends and colleagues.