This evening a candlelight service took place at the Municipal Service Building in Center City Philadelphia, to remember those homeless and formerly homeless Philadelphians who died in 2013. This is an annual event commemorated in many cities and counties across the United States on the first day of winter. Also, this occasion is used as a call to action to end homelessness in our city and our nation.
Building on the theme of “Remember, Hope, and Heal,” the event featured a very powerful ceremonial reading of the names of 127 men and women who died in the past year. Nine of our guests who died this year are on that list. Since 1990, the National Coalition for the Homeless has sponsored National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day on the first day of winter to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness and to remember our homeless citizens who have paid the ultimate price for our nation’s failure to address the issue.