The National Coalition for the Homeless, the National Consumer Advisory Board and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council encourage communities to host public events on or near December 21 remembering your neighbors who have died homeless in the past year. National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day takes place each year on the longest night of the year, the winter solstice (usually December 21st).
Anyone can coordinate an event including advocates, service providers, organizations, homeless and formerly homeless individuals/families, religious leaders, city representatives, students, and concerned citizens.
Download the official organizing manual to see how you can participate.
In an effort to maximize the impact of the day, we encourage local and statewide organizations to hold memorials for those who have died while homeless in their communities. You and your community can memorialize those that have passed by holding a:
- Candlelight/Silent march
- Graveside service
- Special religious service
- Public policy advocacy event
- Determining how many homeless persons have died during the previous year in your community. There is no official tracking of homeless deaths in most communities, so start now to collect the names of those who die. Work with people who are homeless, service providers, and public officials to compile as complete a list as possible.
- Remembering your friends, family members, and neighbors by sharing their story through Bloggers Unite
- Obtaining a proclamation from your local and/or state governmental body. You will find sample proclamations in our Organizing Manual.
- Letting us know in advance the logistics for your event. This allows us to alert the national media of events happening locally.
- Tweeting about your event with #HomelessMemorial. Once the event is over, let us know how it went, list of names read, how many attended and any media coverage. As sponsors with over twenty years of experience, please let us know if we can provide any additional information, help or advice.
National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day is recognized in various communities across the country. Every year, hundreds of communities hold Memorial Day events on or around December 21 to honor those who died while homeless. To host an event in your community please view our organizing manual. Click here to see a map of currently registered events around the nation.