Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day

The National Coalition for the Homeless, the National Consumer Advisory Board and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council encourage communities to host public events on or near December 21 remembering your neighbors who have died homeless in the past year.

These events are opportunities to come together as a community and show respect for those who have died while experiencing the tragedy of homelessness, but are also opportunities to educate. Please review the resources below for ideas and to find organizations in your community who have been involved in the past.

Video: The Death of Walter Smith

Walter Smith was one of the 45 people who died homeless in 2014 in Cincinnati, OH. This is an increase from 16 who died in 2005. The number of homeless deaths is on the increase and the reason is clear: there is a lack of affordable housing, a lack of access to substance and alcohol abuse treatment facilities, and a lack of affordable and accessible mental health care. Like many persons who die while homeless, Walter’s death was preventable. Learn more about the life of Walter Smith here.