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Service Will Honor Homeless Neighbors Who Have died
Service Will Honor Homeless Neighbors Who Have died
By Melissa Burgess / indystar.com

This is the time of year when people reflect, share thoughts and deeds of gratitude. In the midst of our prosperity, we are reminded that in every hometown, people are facing the cold, long night of winter without a place to call their own.

We encourage our community to join us and others Dec. 19 in honoring the lives of those who have died too early as a result of their homelessness.

Each year, since 1990, the Indianapolis community has participated in the National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day to remember our homeless neighbors who have died and to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness. Our 2014 service will be at 11 a.m. on Dec. 19 at Christ Church Cathedral on Monument Circle.

We, the members of the Professional Blended Street Outreach Teams, understand that people who are homeless are at greater risk of infectious and chronic illness, poor mental health, substance abuse, and of being victims of violence compared to the general population.

In addition, the mortality rate for those experiencing chronic homelessness is four to nine times higher than for the general population. One report estimates that people who are homeless have an average life expectancy of 45 years.

We develop relationships with our homeless neighbors to help them establish stability and get moved into safe, warm housing. We remember the lives of each person who is extinguished too soon. We invite the rest of the community to join us.

Melissa Burgess

Indianapolis Professional Blended Street Outreach

Indianapolis

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Service Will Honor Homeless Neighbors Who Have died