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National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day

A homeless man and woman were run over by a drunk driver as they slept on the streets of Skid Row. Newspaper articles listed them as “transients,” failing to identify them by name.

31-year-old Damian Lerma was fatally wounded during a drive-by shooting. He was homeless, living on the streets of South Los Angeles.

Phillip Greene died at the age of 51. His body was found on the steps of Claremont City Hall.

This December, 1,656 people were buried in a mass grave in Boyle Heights. Many of these people spent their last days living on the streets. No one claimed their bodies. No one marked their graves.

December 21st is a day of remembrance and reflection.  It is National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day and is fittingly set to coincide with the first day of winter, the longest night of the year.

In Los Angeles County, every night over 51,000 people sleep on our streets. Homelessness has devastating effects on their lives, damaging their resilience, health, and well-being. It is an isolating and destructive experience, which on average reduces a person’s life span by 30 years.

Since 1990, the National Coalition for the Homeless has sponsored National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness and to remember our homeless neighbors who have paid the ultimate price for our nation’s failure to end homelessness. Last year, more than 152 cities across the United States participated in National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day, commemorating friends, family members, and neighbors who have died while living on the streets.

Please join SRO Housing Corporation and their partners in a Memorial to recognize the lives that have been lost on our streets over the last year.

Friday, December 21st at 10:00am

James Wood Community Center

400 E. 5th Street

Los Angeles, 90013

We remember those that have lost their lives. And we recommit to  ending homelessness.

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