Since 1990, the United States has observed National Homeless Persons Memorial Day on December 21. Fox 25/48’s Zach Prelutsky has details on what a local organization did to honor those who passed away in 2017.
In La Crosse Thursday, the Salvation Army and other local organizations came together to remember members of the homeless who died in 2017.
Organizations from around the community came up with the list to remember the ten people who passed away this year. While that number dropped from last year, those at the Salvation Army say there is still more to be done.
“When we look at that list and realize that these people were homeless in this community, that’s kind of where the impact comes from so while we might look at the number of 10 individuals, oh that’s only 10 people out of La Crosse, which has 50,000 people living in it,” Says Nick Ragner, La Crosse Salvation Army P.R. Director. “Again, it kind of brings us back to the idea that we would like to see not only this list diminish, but we’d like to see less homeless people in the La Crosse area in general.”
National Homeless Persons Memorial Day is held on December 21 every year, the first official day of winter and the longest night of the year.
“I think that there’s always help that’s needed to be provided year-round, obviously this time we think about that a little bit more than others because it does get so cold outside because you don’t like seeing people have to either sleep outside or spend an extended period of time outside because as we know it is dangerous.”
For people who use the services provided at the Salvation Army, those who passed away will always be remembered by them.
Jake Peck of La Crosse and Ty Martin of Tomah shared their memories “I knew Andre very well. He was 41 years old he passed away so I used to kind of go around town with him quite a bit so it’s pretty sad.”
“I knew AJ”
“and Jordan too”
“Right, not forgotten.”
As we head into 2018, the Salvation Army says a one thing people looking to help can do is spread awareness that there are people who are homeless in the area as well as talking with different organizations to see if you can help, either with your money or your time.
In La Crosse, Zach Prelutsky, Fox 25/48 News at Nine.