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Orlando Remembers Those Who Died On The Streets

A candle was lit for every homeless person who died on the streets in 2015.

Members of the homeless community, advocates and politicians gathered Tuesday to remember those who died on the streets of Orlando.

Homeless Services Network Executive Director Martha Are said the memorial takes place near the longest night of the year. “As the days start to lengthen, to give us a chance to look forward with how things may improve in the next year,” she said, “so we don’t lose so many of our neighbors while they’re on the streets.”

They were remembered as a mother, a hockey player, a gentle giant. Some years the list included Jane and John Does, but this year all 54 were known by name.

Michael Dippy is executive director of IDignity, which provides IDs to the homeless. “It’s emotional because it tells us we are all children of God, we are all absolutely equal, and we all have a name,” said Dippy.

Many of those who died did so on the streets or out in the woods, some had made it into housing, one had just landed a job.

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About Catherine Welch

Catherine Welch