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33rd Annual Homeless Memorial Walk in Minneapolis by Ann Treacy
December 22, 2017, 3:59 am
Filed under: Minneapolis, Minnesota

You just never know what you’re going to find when you go for a walk – especially with Monica. Tonight Aine and I met up with Monica for the 33rd Annual Homeless Memorial.

The walk starts at the Hennepin Government Center and ends with a service at St Stephen’s Church and Shelter. It is in honor of the folks in the homeless community who have passed away in the last year; for the people and the families and friends of people who didn’t have enough money for a service or even an obituary and for the people who have served those people through their jobs and/or avocation.

Sadly 180 people in the homeless community died in Minnesota. People at St Stephen’s created placards with the name, age and location of each people. We each carried a sign. Aine walked for Donovan, Monica for Betty and I walked for Robert.

It’s about a 2 mile walk. It was cold. We saw some carolers and hot chocolate along the way. We met a lot of people on the walk, especially since Monica knows everyone. We walked with one person who recently found permanent housing through the VA. Aine told me later that she found him very interesting. He was walking with his dog. He had recently been reunited with the dog; thanks to the permanent housing placement. He had some ill health. He talked about how hard it had been finding housing. Dealing with safe shelters closing, living on the streets and who he trusted and didn’t trust when living outside. Then he mentioned that his dog had been sick and he was now in debt more than $900 for vet bills. And even with the vet visits, he didn’t expect his dog (who was older) to survive the winter. So sad.

We walked to the church, left the placards at the altar and then Monica gave us a quick tour of the shelter. Monica stayed for the ceremony, which included songs, stories and reading of the names and lighting of the candles. The ceremony was followed by a free dinner served in the shelter. An opportunity for folks to mingle and meet. Such a nice idea – that being said, it would be nice to see the purpose for it end. As I walked in the cold tonight I appreciated that I was outside because I chose to be out – and I felt for those who don’t have the choice.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thanks for posting your experience. I love the idea of walking with the signs of people’s names who died homeless. It starts to put a face (name) to those who mostly are invisible. I also wish that the need for such walks would no longer be necessary.

Comment by thecedarjournal

Thanks for the nice comment. It was a moving event – with folks living in the trenches and folks lucky enough to not be in the thick of it walking together. A lesson in the accident of birth, health and luck!

Comment by Ann Treacy




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