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Joseph's House Healing Garden

Organized by: Thomas E Terteling

Thomas E's Photo


Help Us Build an Accessible Healing Garden for Homeless Men and Women with HIV & Cancer
For 25 years at Joseph's House, we have welcomed and cared for homeless men and women with AIDS and cancer in Washington, DC. So much about our warm, inviting home and community creates an environment that nurtures the spiritual and emotional healing of those who have suffered for much of their lives.

Now we are working to extend that healing spirit into our garden. Right now our garden misses the mark: it's inaccessible, hard to navigate, has lingering rain puddles, and lacks areas for solitude, conversation, and small gatherings. With your support we can transform the garden into a fully accessible refuge that awakens the senses and creates an environment for introspection, prayer, and quiet conversation for those facing some of life's deepest challenges and questions.

Accessible: Based on universal design principles, our healing garden will welcome everyone in our community. Its fully accessible entrance, pathways and materials will convey hospitality to those who use wheelchairs or walkers.

Inviting: Our healing garden will be a bright and glorious sign of welcome for all who enter, inviting resting in, lingering; conversation. It will be a calm and beautiful place for solitude or for visiting with family and friends.

Contemplative: The plantings and other natural features will awaken the senses of sight, smell and touch, creating an environment for introspection and prayer for those facing some of life’s biggest questions and challenges.

Neighborly: A low perimeter wall with a bench along the sidewalk, small lending library, and a built-in fresh water bowl for neighborhood dogs will invite neighbors and passers-by to pause for a moment to talk or to rest.

Gathering: Our healing garden will be a place to come together for music and memorials and other celebrations to heal and renew the spirit.

Remembering: The garden will have dedicated areas to honor the hundreds of men and women who have lived, loved, and died among us. In our healing garden, we will also give thanks for those who live with us today and humbly anticipate the men and women who will join us in the years to come.

The garden's cornerstone will be the Terrace of Remembrance. Located where we have long held an annual memorial service for residents, the beautifully designed Terrace of Remembrance will recall the spirits of the hundreds of men and women who have lived, loved and died among us these past twenty five years and also be a special place for a few, or for many, to gather for conversation, music, memorial services, and other events to heal and renew the spirit.
The terrace will feature natural stone paving, a specially designed remembrance wall, and a rough stone altar – elements that will make the Terrace of Remembrance a place of meaning and comfort.

We need your financial gift to begin preparing the site, to bring in new, rich soil and for the trees and plants that will thrive in that soil! Your financial gift will provide beautiful hand-made benches that will invite folks to come into this space and stay a while. Your support will also help to fill the space with the names of those we remember and those who support our mission of justice and compassion.

A Dream Coming to Life

Our long-held dream for a healing garden took a huge step forward in spring 2014 when we won MakeDC's citywide design competition Designing Dreams. Working with MakeDC, we have refined our vision for the garden. Creating a fully accessible garden is a bigger challenge than we anticipated. It requires replacing a large retaining wall so we can integrate a wheelchair-friendly ramp, which will become the garden's primary entrance. Completing the garden will require generous support from individuals, as well as from corporate and foundation donors that support our mission of compassion and justice.

Other Ways to Help Us #growlove
We know not everyone can contribute financially, but that doesn't mean you can't help us #growlove!

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1% Raised of $18,000 Goal

Organized by

Thomas E Terteling

This is a direct to organizer fundraiser.

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Thomas E is still setting up this fundraiser so please check back so you can support Joseph's House Healing Garden.

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