People experiencing homelessness, housing advocates, and community leaders will gather for solemn remembrances and demonstrations on December 21 to observe Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day. For nearly three decades, communities have gathered to mourn the tragic passing of those who die on the streets due to the harsh realities of lacking shelter. The event is coordinated by the National Coalition for the Homeless, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, and National Consumer Advisory Board.
Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day takes place each year on the first day of winter, the longest night of the year. Community events, include memorial services, marches, rallies, and sleep-outs, highlight the appalling number of homeless people who die on the streets each year. According to 2017 data shared by the National Coalition for the Homeless, 2,532 people experiencing homelessness died in the 22 cities that track these mortalities.
Homeless people are exposed to greater health risks. The Center for Disease Control explains that the lower life expectancy of homeless individuals is related to higher risks of infectious and chronic illness, poor mental health, substance abuse, and a greater likelihood of being victims of violence.
To participate in a Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day event in your community, see a map of activities at: https://bit.ly/2QRbgBs