More are expected to die prior to December 17th gathering.
Every year in December, and this has been true for a quarter of a century, there is a memorial gathering and march to commemorate all those who died in the previous year of one of our most insidious social ills: Homelessness.
This year the job of gathering the names of the dead has fallen to John Petroskas. This is John’s third year on this job.
Some stories are particularly hard to hear. It really bothers me when someone reports that a child has died while homeless, but it happens every year. It’s also especially sad for me when someone dies a violent death, but every year homeless people are murdered, commit suicide, or die in tragic accidents. Others die of chronic illnesses like cancer, AIDS, diabetes, and heart disease. Alcohol and drug addiction claim even more lives. Sometimes we don’t even learn the name of the person, or how they died – occasionally all we can list is “unknown man, Minneapolis.”
On December 17th there will be a linked series of events that will serve as a sort of memorial, and as a sort of protest. It is organized by Simpson Housing, a non-profit that has operated in Minneapolis for many years. Several other organization will be involved as well.
I’m going to try very hard to be at at least part of this event, or to volunteer to help, or something. If you are local to the twin cities, I hope you will as well.