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Remembering 84 People Whose Names We Never Knew

In Philly, 84 homeless or formerly homeless people died here in 2008. Finally, they're given a dignified memorial serice.

Before I suspend this blog for the holidays, here's one last post, about National Homeless Memorial Day, which will be observed in Philly this coming Monday.

"Remember, Hope, Heal" will be celebrated in memory of 84 homeless and formerly homeless people who died here in 2008, and it will call for an end to homelessness.

Not many people have ever heard the names of these people, which is a big point of the service - to try to make them real to us, in death, in a way they never were in life.

Here's more, from the good people at Project H.O.M.E., a co-sponsor of the event:

Time: noon to 1:30 p.m. (Gather with Music at 12; kick-off at 12:30)

Where: Love Park, 16th Street & JFK Boulevard

Who: Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell will issue a City Council Proclamation.Guest speakers will include Dainette Mintz, City of Philadelphia Deputy Managing Director for Special Needs Housing; S. Mary Scullion, Project H.O.M.E.; Adam Bruckner, Philadelphia Kixx; and Rev. Robin Hynicka, Arch Street United Methodist Church.

Also, homeless and formerly homeless participants will perform skits, poetry, and call to end homelessness. Sign language interpreter provided

Why:   Since 1990, the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council have sponsored the homeless day on or near the first day of winter to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness and to remember our homeless citizens who have paid the ultimate price for our nation's failure to address the issue.

For more information, contact Jennine Miller at Project H.O.M.E at 215-232-7272.

To help someone who is homeless, call the Philadelphia Homeless Outreach Hotline at 215-232-1984.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all, and may the new year bring health, hope and happiness.

See ya right back here in 2009.