Christmas Gift for Homeless Jesus Sculpture

After many years of exposure to the elements, Community West Foundation’s Homeless Jesus sculpture has been refurbished – thanks to the talented Shannon Marie Makes, an area sculptor who has taught at local arts schools and been commissioned by Proctor & Gamble for public art.

Shannon Marie used specialized repair materials to rehabilitate the weathering and other outdoor-related wear and tear the sculpture has endured.

Community West Foundation has been displaying the piece at various locales to bring attention to the plight of the homeless since 2018.

“It was in pretty bad shape,” said Shannon Marie. “I had to repair some of the cracks and pits and match the paint. I sanded it all down and repainted it and sanded it all down again.”

“I had about three weeks to do it, so that was good because matching the paint was tricky. I worked with FinishMaster, Inc., an automotive company on Brookpark Road. They are fantastic. They matched the right color and mixed the right color.”

Shannon Marie also spoke with the offices of creator Timothy Schmalz of Canada, who created the world-renowned piece.

Homeless Jesus came to the area when Community West Foundation purchased a replica of the Homeless Jesus sculpture as a visual representation of the Gospel passage in Matthew 25:40 – “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Created by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz, it depicts Jesus as a homeless person lying on a bench, shrouded in a blanket with wounds on the feet. This symbolic work of art is one of a series of inspiring sculptures crafted by Schmalz.

Homeless Jesus reflects the core principle of the work and mission at Community West Foundation to care for the least of our brothers and sisters in need. It gives authenticity to our mission and we want to share this gift with the entire community. The relevance of Homeless Jesus reminds us to show love, care and compassion to our less fortunate neighbors.

This very powerful image of homelessness has traveled our community since October of 2018 giving inspiration to congregations and the public at many churches and one recovery home including:

  • First Congregational UCC Church
  • Messiah Lutheran Church
  • Rocky River Presbyterian Church
  • Bethany Lutheran Church
  • Paul’s Lutheran Church
  • Bay Presbyterian Church
  • Rocky River United Methodist Church
  • Blessed Trinity Catholic Church
  • Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
  • The Edna House
  • West Park United Church of Christ
  • Grace Church
  • Barnabas Episcopal Church

Recently, the sculpture gained international headlines when someone called police out of concern for the image at its location in Bay Village’s St. Barnabas Church.

Shannon Marie can attest to the impact of seeing the sculpture up close.“It is just stunning in person,” she said. “Instead of just seeing it on a website or on TV,  to walk up to it in person, it really takes your breath away.  It was interesting to have it in my studio and walk out to it  every morning. It was an honor to work on.”

Shannon Marie has been a teacher at Beck Center and the Olmsted Center for Performing Arts. Three of her pieces are on display at the Proctor & Gamble Olay location in Cincinnati and she has been featured in Oprah’s O Magazine.

Shannon Marie’s last name is Timura. Shannon Marie Makes is her Etsy Shop.


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