About Homeless Jesus
Our church campus will soon be the permanent home of the sculpture, Homeless Jesus. Depicting a a covered figure on a park bench, with distinctly pierced feet, the bronze sculpture is the work of Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz.
The same piece has already been placed in several cities throughout the world, including Toronto, Washington DC, Dublin, and is set to be installed in several more, including London, and the Vatican in Rome.
Our hope is that the presence of the statue will not only bring more attention to the cause of homelessness, but also prompt a different way of thinking about the people we encounter daily in our city.
Given by three anonymous donors in memory of their loved ones, Homeless Jesus will be placed next to the sidewalk on Jackson Street, close to the corner of Rosalind Avenue.
Though our church family gives almost $150,000 annually to the cause of homelessness, both in relief and development, we know there is always more that can be done to call attention to this issue.
Relief work, to care for the immediate and desperate needs of our homeless community, is necessary and important. Development work, to address the root causes of homelessness and create pathways for our homeless friends to have new opportunities, is essential.
However, we believe we can do more than simply provide immediate assistance to people in the homeless community each week through our Compassion Corner ministry. We can do more than partner with the City of Orlando and other ministries on development initiatives that offer longer term solutions for the homeless. We know art has incredible power to impact culture and challenge norms, and that change has to take place on every side of an issue to have a lasting effect.
For thousands of years, the church has been the steward of compelling art, designed to prompt curiosity, questions, reverence and honest dialogue about the state of human affairs and God’s divine nature. We recognize, like our partners with Rethink Homelessness, that we must change our mindset, and we hope the presence of Homeless Jesus will motivate others to do the same: to think differently about the homeless, and see them as image-bearers of God and worthy of respect and care, regardless of their circumstance.
MORE ON OUR PARTNERS
IN THE NEWS
Cost of homelessness in Central Florida? $31K per person (Orlando Sentinel, 2014)
Homeless Jesus sculpture arrives in Orlando (Orlando Sentinel, 2015)
Church dedicates 'Jesus the Homeless' statue in downtown Orlando (WKMG Local 6, 2015)
'Homeless Jesus' Meant to Raise Awareness, Change Mindsets (Patch.com, 2015)
Sculpture of homeless Jesus comes to downtown Orlando (WFTV Channel 9, 2015)