Homeless Jesus statue being mistaken for real person in Hamilton

Paramedics in Hamilton are getting a lot of calls, in this recent blast of wintry weather, about a homeless person sleeping on a bench. Only, it's not a person it's Homeless Jesus.

The sculpture was created by St. Jacobs, Ont. artist Timothy Schmalz

Paramedics approach a statue on a bench in a photo from the Hamilton Paramedics Twitter page. The statue in Hamilton is getting a lot of attention from paramedics as a recent blast of wintry weather has resulted in calls about a homeless person sleeping on a bench. (Twitter-Hamilton Paramedics/Canadian Press)

Paramedics in Hamilton are getting a lot of calls, in this recent blast of wintry weather, about a homeless person sleeping on a bench.

Only, it's not a person. It's Homeless Jesus, a bronze sculpture of Jesus wrapped in a blanket and sleeping on a park bench.

Hamilton Paramedic Service operations supervisor Edward Harris says they've responded to several emergency calls after officials issued a plea for citizens to alert the authorities when they see people out in the cold.

Harris says paramedics are hearing from concerned citizens who have mistaken Homeless Jesus for a homeless person. 

All emergency calls are taken seriously, Harris adds, and so crews have been sent to the location outside a church, which is located in an area of Hamilton with a high homeless population.

The sculpture was created by St. Jacobs artist Timothy Schmalz, and copies are in place in cities including Grand Haven, Mich., Phoenix, Washington, Chicago, and Dublin, Ireland.

The Hamilton Paramedic Service on Wednesday tweeted "Thanks to those who reported someone (lying) out in the cold, thankfully it's the 'Homeless Jesus' statue."

"It is heartwarming to see the public's concern for the well-being of those in need," Harris said in an email.

"We put out the tweet to educate the public on the statue, its location and to provide additional information on local shelter services."

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