GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — Grand Haven joined over 40 international cities Sunday evening to honor World Day of the Poor at their “Homeless Jesus” sculpture. 

The sculpture was created by Timothy P. Schmalz, and it depicts Jesus as a homeless person under a blanket on a bench. It is the focal point for cities hosting public events to honor the World Day of the Poor on Nov. 17. The sculpture is also being unveiled in three new cities: Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Montreal. 

In Grand Haven, a candlelight vigil was held in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, 524 Washington Ave., which is across from the City Hall. Members of the community were invited to attend the vigil and they were encouraged to bring clothing, food or other donations for marginalized populations. Donations will be used by St. John’s outreach ministries or partnering organizations. 

“Since the installation of the statue, it has been a gathering place and point of inspiration for numerous people in the city,” Rev. Dr. Jared Cramer, rector of St. John’s told the Grand Haven Tribune. “People have even brought food or blankets, mistaking it for an actual person – only to see the holes in the feet and realize the powerful message the statue conveys.”

There are over 100 “Homeless Jesus” sculptures on display worldwide. There is also one in downtown Detroit. 

The Grand Haven Tribune contributed to this story. 


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