A memorial event is taking place on Wednesday, Dec. 21 to honor the homeless people who have perished in the past year on San Francisco’s streets in the past year.
The memorial is an annual occasion, organized by religious crisis intervention hotline San Francisco Night Ministry and the San Francisco Interfaith Council. Cities across the USA are hosting similar events, including Baltimore, New York, Hartford, Sacramento and Long Beach. The event is held on Dec. 21 to acknowledge the cold winter temperatures, and the longest day of the year.
A study released by the National Health Care for the Homeless Council states that people experiencing homelessness are three to four times more likely to die prematurely than those who have shelter. Violence, alcohol-related illnesses and drug overdoses are leading causes of death, spurring many advocates to ask for better services to help those suffering from addiction access help.
A short service will take place at St. Anthony’s (150 Golden Gate Ave.) at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Attendees will then march to City Hall for a public memorial service at 5:30 p.m.
Anyone is welcome to join in the event, regardless of religion.