Remembering those who paid the ultimate price
for our failure to end homelessness
Jim Maddox holds a sign and candle in remembrance of Patricia Brooks during the a march in Decatur, Illinois, for Homeless Memorial Day. Photo from the Herald & Review.
It’s the longest night of the year, and people across the country are observing National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness and to remember those who paid the ultimate price for our nation's failure to end homelessness.
In Indianapolis, it was standing room only for a service at Christ Church Cathedral as social workers, activists and politicians joined with homeless people to commemorate 40 people who died there in the past year. Most of those who died -- in Indianapolis and across the country -- are “people who are dying because of years of hard living and untreated medical conditions that caught up with them,’’ said Dan Shepley, executive director of the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention. Read the Indianapolis Star story here.
Lore Baker, director of Homeward Bound, told participants huddling in the snow in Decatur, Illinois, that chronic health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, tuberculosis and HIV go hand in hand with homelessness. "These problems are extremely difficult to treat or control among those without adequate housing," he said. Read the Herald & Review story here.
This year, the National Health Care for the Homeless Council joined the National Coalition for the Homeless in sponsoring this event.
Update: in Orlando, homeless advocates gathered on the steps of City Hall to remember 24 homeless people who died in 2005. They lit candles, said prayers, even had a proclamation from City Hall read. But if their object was to raise awareness about the plight of the homeless, they may not have been seen. Grandstands for the Citrus Parade blocked the street. Listen to the WDBO report here.