MISSOULA — Missoulians gathered to remember people who died while experiencing homelessness this year outside the Missoula County Courthouse on the longest night of the year.
The fourth annual ceremony, which took place on Saturday, featured a reading of the 24 people’s names who had died in Missoula in 2019. The names were read by Missoula Mayor John Engen, Missoula County Commissioner Josh Slotnick and Miaaoul City Council President Bryan von Lossberg.
Missoula was just one out of 150 cities and counties across the United States to bring awareness to homelessness and the remembrance of those who have died.
Theresa Williams, the coordinator of Reaching Home: Missoula’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness, says the purpose of this event is to make sure those that were lost will not be forgotton.
“For a lot of the people that we are naming tonight and remembering, they are someone’s brother and sister, and eight of them were actually veterans, and so we are just remembering them and saying their names tonight so they will not be forgotten,” said Williams.
The ceremony also featured an honor song by Kevin Kicking Woman and a poem by Barry Maxwell.