CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Advocates, representatives and families filled the sanctuary of St. John’s Episcopal Church to shed light on a continuing global issue – homelessness.
National Homelessness Memorial Day happens once a year to remember those who died experiencing homelessness.
According to the Kanawha Valley Collective, 53 West Virginians died on the streets or in shelters. Ten of those people were from Charleston alone. In 2018, the death count was 70, and while there are few deaths this year, the fight is still on to make that number zero.
Executive Director of Cabell-Huntington Coalition for the Homeless, Amanda Coleman said, “sometimes people will say that we shouldn’t politicize a tragedy, but most tragedies are inherently political and certainly the numbers of people experiencing homelessness this year in the U.S. And the number of people who died while homeless is a tragedy that is already political in nature.”
Memorial services like this are held throughout the U.S. to spread awareness to the homelessness issue and also help create solutions in local communities.