Roanoke: Remembering the woman many considered "The Face of Homelessness"

For years, Wanda Emory was a fixture in downtown Roanoke. Pushing her overflowing shopping cart through the streets, often with multiple purses draped around her neck, Emory was well-known to office workers, merchants, and regulars to downtown.

Emory passed away in September 2018. On Thursday, March 28 at 11:00 a.m., a portrait of her, by local artist Eddie Yeary, will be dedicated in her memory at the Rescue Mission of Roanoke, whose staff, along with many others, worked tirelessly to assist her through the years.

“Wanda challenged and taught us,” says Rescue Mission CEO Lee Clark. “She made us all think about homelessness with greater compassion and humility and helped so many of us better understand the perils of mental illness and homelessness.”

The portrait will hang and the dedication will take place in the same building where Emory spent many nights when she chose to seek shelter, the Rescue Mission’s Women and Children’s Center at 510 4th Street, SE.

The Rescue Mission of Roanoke, located at 402 Fourth Street SE, is a 501(C)(3) grassroots organization serving as a Christian Crisis Intervention Center for Southwestern Virginia. Receiving no government funding of any kind, the Rescue Mission is supported by the generous donations of our community partners. Since 1948, The Rescue Mission has consistently served all people in need regardless of race, creed, gender, age, or ethnicity. For more information about the Rescue Mission, please call (540) 343-7227 or click HERE.


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