Homeless Memorial Sunrise Service

Please plan now to join us to say “goodbye” to our friends who have died in Austin during the previous year at the-

 21st House the Homeless Sunrise Memorial Service

 Sunday, November 17th  2013


It is a one hour Sunrise Service beginning at 6:57 am. 


The Key Note Speaker this year will be City Council Member Mike Martinez. Alan Graham, of Mobile Loaves and Fishes, will lead us in prayer, and the lovely, compassionate and talented Sara Hickman, will grace us with song.

A Reception follows at the Fanny Davis Gazebo with breakfast tacos, coffee, cocoa, and fellowship.
Location:  The Memorial is 75 yards east of the Steve Ray Vaughn Statue and 75 yards west of the Fannie Davis Gazebo. Limited parking is available on in a small parking lot at Auditorium Shores and along Riverside Dr.

History: Every year since 1992, we have met at the Homeless Memorial and Tree of Remembrance at South First and Riverside Drive on Auditorium Shores. This is on the south side of Lady Bird Lake.  For 20 years, we have had song, prayed, broken bread and read the names of the women, men and children who have lived and died in poverty in Austin.

Elected officials presiding in the past have included Mayor Bruce Todd, Mayor/Senator Kirk Watson, Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Brigid Shea, Judge/County Commissioner Sam Biscoe and Sheryl Cole just to name a few people.

Thank you for  all that you do to fight homelessness.

In Unity there Is Strength,


For 20 years, House the Homeless has taken time to remember those citizens who have died in poverty in Austin/Travis County.  The first memorial was an informal march from the capitol to then Town Lake after Richard and others realized how many friends had died.  At that time they counted twenty-three souls.

House the homeless Memorial Tree 2008

In 1993, Richard obtained a spot on now Lady Bird Lake to plant a live oak and place a memorial plaque.

House the Homeless Memorial Plaque

The plaque reads:

It is the essence of depression
It is immoral
It is socially corrupt
And it is an act of violence.
In the memory of those who have lost their lives on the streets of Austin.

In November 2009, House the Homeless held the 17th Memorial and read the names of 158 citizens including two infants.

House the Homeless reading of the names memorial service 2009 012

In years past, each person has been remembered by a hat on a stake:

Or a name tied to a carnation or on a ribbon on the tree. This year the dead were remembered with hand made origami swans.  The name of each person lost in 2009 was attached to an origami swan. Some believe that the bird will carry the spirit of that individual to heaven.

House the Homeless tree 2009 swans

The ultimate goal for House the Homeless is to reduce the untimely deaths of homeless citizens by providing opportunities to get off the streets through job training, living wages, case management, transitional housing, and affordable housing.

In the interim, each winter, HTH holds its thermal underwear party to provide warm clothes to protect individuals living outside. This protection is needed to avoid exposure and hypothermia.  The end of each year’s Memorial signals the kick off of the Thermal Underwear Drive when we work diligently to raise the funds necessary to purchase life saving winter clothing.

Click the link for some more information on the 2010 Homeless Memorial Sunrise Service that took place in Austin last year, including a list of the people we remembered — the homeless men and women who lost their lives in Austin in 2010. Click here to see photos from the 2010 Service.