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Matt Barrett and friends on his birthday. Photo © 2014 Ilona Berzups.

Tribute to Matthew R. Barrett

Matthew R. Barrett (2/8/65 – 9/2/14)

On September 2, 2014, we here at Greater Seattle Cares lost a good friend. That is the day that Matt Barrett, affectionately known as “Giant” both for his stature and the size of his great heart, ended his days on this plane of existence. We miss him, we remember him, and we celebrate his life through which he taught us so much.

Here are a few messages from our Board members who knew Matt.

“Matt said that Tent City was a place he could be accepted and loved as he was. I hope for him and for us that the circle of people who could love and accept him was and is far wider than Tent City. Matt helped many of us to grow in our ability to love. I am one of those and I am grateful for that. I miss him but I also understand his decision. I am comforted by the fact that the things that used to hurt him have no more power to hurt him.” — Bill Bear

“Matt was special to me as well. He kept in touch all while I was in Italy, and up until the last we played online Scrabble together which got me through my two surgery recoveries keeping my mind active.” — Jenny Coss

“When I think of Matt, I don’t think of cancer or of homelessness. I think of him as a teacher. Matt taught me important lessons about compassion and about solidarity. As limited as his financial resources were, he helped out other campers who had less than he. He also made donations to GSC to help support Tent City 3, and he allowed us to gift his books to folks who made earmarked donations to our organization. The most gentle of men, I remember how it hurt him when children would shy away from his scarred face, or parents would scold him for scaring their children; he was not angry with them, only sad that they would not teach their children to see into a person’s heart, as he so regularly did. I am richer for having known Matt. He will be remembered with love by many, and what legacy is any greater than that?” — Cindy Roat

More information and external links

Photos of Matt and friends

Random photos of Matt and friends, he had many. He touch lives near and far and will never be forgotten.
See more photos on Matt’s Facebook page