Homeless living and dead remembered in Twin PortsAbout 100 people gathered at a chilly vigil on the steps of Duluth’s City Hall Monday afternoon to remember homeless people.
By: By Mike Simonson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
About 100 people gathered at a chilly vigil on the steps of Duluth’s City Hall Monday afternoon to remember homeless people. They remembered street people who died in that area over the past year.
Organizers read a list of his year’s 35 names - the most in the eight years that Churches United in Ministry has held this homeless vigil. Congregational Outreach Director Liz Olson says part of it can be blamed on the economy.
“Times are tough both for the economic situation that people fall into, poverty and homelessness and then just the system, a lack of affordable housing or access to mental health care, those kinds of things too just make it a lot more challenging for people to get out of the situation of homelessness and poverty," she says.
Olson says they housed almost 1000 people in their emergency shelter this year, also a record. She says that’s why churches, government agencies and individuals should remember an otherwise invisible population that has to try to survive on the street.
“When we’re all cozy and warm in our homes celebrating the holidays that there are a lot of folks in Duluth and the broader community don’t have homes for the holiday and we need to take time to remember that and reflect on that as a community and really strive to do better," she says.
Ironically, an Arctic blast was expected to bring the first wind chill advisory of the winter to this area Monday night, with wind chills of 35 below zero.