‘Homeless Jesus’ sculpture prompts call to police

Art installation prompts neighbors to notify police

BAY VILLAGE, Ohio — A sculpture in Ohio has some people calling the police.

The temporary art installation in question is called “Homeless Jesus” and depicts a person bundled up in a blanket, sleeping on a park bench at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Bay Village, Ohio.

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It was created by Timothy Schmalz, who has installed similar sculptures all over the world.

But within 20 minutes of the sculpture being installed at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Bay Villiage, Ohio, someone had called police, WEWS reported.

The church confirmed the interaction on its website: “Yes, within just a few minutes of the statue’s arrival, the police were dispatched to investigate a report of a man sleeping on a park bench. This is apparently a common issue with various Homeless Jesus installations around the US and Canada. The caller surely contacted the police out of genuine concern and the responding officer was excellent: he was extremely professional and eager to learn more about the sculpture and its intended message. We have nothing but gratitude and respect for the Bay Village Police Department.”

A similar incident happened in Davidson, North Carolina, NPR reported in 2014.

Paramedics were called in Indianapolis, The Indy Star reported in 2015.

The sculpture is being used by St. Barnabas to help raise money to help the homeless.

The church said of the “Homeless Jesus” sculpture: “It reminds us that, even though homelessness is not a significant problem in our immediate neighborhood, we don’t have to drive far to find those in tremendous need. Perhaps the statue will inspire those who see it to take action and help.”