All are invited December 21st from 5:00-6:00 pm for an outdoor vigil to honor our community members who have died while experiencing homelessness in Central Oregon this year. We will remember those individuals who are known to us and hold space for those we couldn’t reach. The true count locally is unknown, as housing status is not included in data gathered when a person passes on. Service providers are currently finalizing the list of those who passed away in 2023.
Gather at Bend’s Drake Park on the rise to the right of the bandstand at 5:00 pm for hot cocoa. The service will begin at 5:15 pm.
This year marks the 33rd anniversary of the National Coalition for the Homeless “Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day” which began in partnership of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council with three objectives: 1) to shine a bright light on the dark truth that homelessness kills; 2) to ensure that those who died are not forgotten; and 3) to mobilize action to end what is often a death sentence — homelessness. It is the second annual local remembrance event.
In Central Oregon, our Homeless Leadership Coalition members work in Jefferson, Deschutes, and Crook counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to prevent and end homelessness by improving regional and cross-system collaboration and coordination so that our communities will have a comprehensive response in place that ensures homelessness is prevented whenever possible, or if it can’t be prevented, it is a rare, brief, and non-recurring experience.