Kitchener-Waterloo

Homeless memorial gets $7K grant from regional arts fund

A group that's crowdfunding to create a memorial for people who have died while living on the streets in Waterloo region recently learned their project received $7,700 from the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund.

Group raising money to create memorial for people who have died while homeless in Waterloo region

This artist's conception shows what the memorial could look like: a bronze backpack on a red sandstone slab. (Gofundme: KW Homeless Memorial )

A group hoping to build a memorial for people who have died while living on the streets in Waterloo region have received a $7,700 grant from the Region of Waterloo. 

The K-W Homeless Memorial, called Between a Rock and a Hard Place, received the funding through the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund. Atwood-based sculptor Ernest Daetwyler applied to the region for the grant.

Daetwyler estimates on a GoFundMe page for the memorial that it will cost $25,000 to create the sculpture. It would consist of a bronze backpack with a plaque, placed on a rectangular red sandstone slab.

Suzi Gursoy, who came up with the idea for the sculpture, said the backpack represents her life when she was homeless and how she carried everything she had, including pictures of her children, in her backpack.

"It had everything that meant anything to me. You can see it in people experiencing homelessness now, everybody carries their life on their back," she said in an interview in December.

The group behind the crowdfunding efforts hope the sculpture would go in Kitchener's Victoria Park.

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