A Homeless Persons Memorial was held on December 20 at First United Methodist Church in Fort Lauderdale. The public gathered for the annual candlelight ceremony to remember and recognize the lives of persons who died this year in Broward County while experiencing homelessness. During the service, names of the 98 homeless persons who died in 2022 were read aloud, a bell rang and an ornament was placed on a memorial tree to recognize and pay tribute to our neighbors who died on the streets.
Candlelight for the Homeless
Broward’s Homeless Persons Memorial Ceremony, an annual event commemorated across the United States, was built on the theme of Remembrance, Hope, and Support.
It was attended by people experiencing homelessness, advocates, shelter staff, faith-based organizations, healthcare providers, concerned citizens, city representatives, and local and state legislators.
Studies across the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia have confirmed the relationship between a lack of housing and increased mortality rates. This consistency has no borders. Homeless persons are 3-4 times more likely to die than the general population. On average, people with housing in the U.S. can expect to live to age 78 but our homeless neighbors can expect to live to about the age of 50. In Broward County, the average age of those being memorialized is 53. The Memorial focuses attention to collectively recommit efforts to prevent unnecessary deaths among our homeless neighbors.
“Homelessness is only going to be reduced with a full community effort. Broward County is re-committing itself to working with all individuals and organizations to align efforts and outcomes in order to reduce these numbers.”
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