The Homeless Memorial Day in Cleveland took place on December 21, 2016 at West Side Catholic Center and we had around 120 people attend. We read the names of 103 people who passed away over the last year and spent time homeless. We had Senator Sherrod Brown as our main speaker who brought warm wishes to homeless people and talked about the release of the federal Continuum of Care funding from the federal government. Senator Brown sat and talked with the guests and had to be pulled away to start the program. We heard prayers from Doug Horner of St Pauls Community Church who made the front page of the Plain Dealer as well as Rabbi Joshua Carruso of Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple. Drew Genzsler the CEO of Lutheran Metro Ministry and a Chaplin in the Navy gave a Central American Prayer for the dead.
There was some good coverage of the story in the Plain Dealer including a great slide show of the participants. WKSU had a nice story as one of the local NPR affiliates talked to a resident of the Women's shelter who lost her room mate who drowned.
Jennifer Kocan, NEOCH Board Treasurer read the names of those who passed away at the Memorial. Sue DiNardo, former staff at West Side Catholic, was memorialized as well as those who died while spending some time homeless in 2016. We read the names of 103 people which was the largest number in the 30 year history of the Memorial in Cleveland. From reading 7 names on Public Square in 1986 to the church memorials and now taking place at various meal programs. This event attempts to make people aware of the homeless population in Cleveland and to remember our friends who died who in life are largely forgotten.
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