Trinity Episcopal Church in Columbus, Ohio will hold a memorial service for at least 32 homeless and formerly homeless people who died in central Ohio over the past year.
Participants say the annual candle-lighting service, sponsored by the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless, raises public awareness, allows family and friends to grieve, and shows other homeless people that central Ohio is a caring, supportive community — that someone will remember their names when they are gone.
“Both the hard part and the good part is that nobody wants to die unknown and alone,” Beittel said. “And when we work with people like this, they know that they’re not alone.”
The local service has been held for about 10 years, coinciding with similar services nationwide and timed around the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, said Mike Tynan, who sits on the coalition’s board of directors.
The service also remembers those who used to be homeless because the hardship of their time on the street might have contributed to their deaths.