Communities Honor National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day

December 21st marks the longest night of the year, it holds the most hours of darkness

FARGO, ND — The cold weather can be painful, but it can be deadly for the homeless community.

People in the metro are honoring those who couldn’t win the battle with homelessness.

December 21st marks the longest night of the year, it holds the most hours of darkness.

“When you see a group of individuals on a bitter cold night processing down Broadway with a casket, an empty casket, that we use to represent those who have passed, it really does open the eyes of people in the community, said Cody Schuler, with the FM Coalition for Homeless Persons.

It is also National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day.

A day for people around the world to pay their respects for the lives lost.

“So often the experience of homelessness is an experience of being isolated and invisible,” said Sue Koesterman, with Churches United for the Homeless.

But tonight they are being given a voice.

Communities everywhere are focusing on this issue.

Tonight they are honoring 150 people and throughout the tables in the room they have pictures and stories of some of those who are from the metro.

Those participating in the walk also placed pinwheels in the ground to represent those lives.

“40 percent of our homeless population are people of color and the majority of that is native American,” Cody said.

Education and awareness are the first steps to solving this problem.

“Homelessness is not a shelter issue, homelessness is a community issue,” Sue said.

“We know what the solutions are but we need to be able to have the resources and the systems in place,” Cody said.

Sue says it’s important for this community to be honored as our neighbors.

“When you see someone who is experiencing homelessness or you think they are someone who is experiencing homelessness, just see them as a person and to remember that they are people first, and homeless second,” Sue said.

The organizers are hoping the community becomes more aware of the issue at hand.

If you are interested in helping, contact the FM Coalition.

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