Since 1990, The National Coalition for the Homeless has sponsored National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day on or near the first day of winter (December 21) to remember our homeless friends who have paid the ultimate price for our nation’s failure to address the issue. This organizing manual is intended to help concerned citizens and advocates plan local events that memorialize those that have passed while living on the streets.
In 2011, the Unites States not only saw an increase in hate motivated lethal deaths, but a rise in those crimes as serial murders. An equally alarming trend was the rate of violent and lethal acts committed by juveniles, some as young as thirteen. This devolution in hate crimes speaks to the nature of the relationship between the victim, the criminal and the crime. Like never before, we are seeing individuals strike out with unbridled malice towards an individual or individuals of their own mind’s making.
Our answer to breaking down at least some of the barriers between housed and homeless Americans is the Homeless Challenge where the streets become your teacher.