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Vigil remembers homeless who have passed away in Missoula

Missoula Homeless Vigil
Posted at 8:18 AM, Dec 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-22 10:18:04-05

MISSOULA - The people who passed away in Missoula without having a permanent home were remembered on Wednesday.

December 21st — which is the longest night of the year, the winter solstice — also marks National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day.

The Poverello Center hosted a memorial gathering Wednesday night at the Missoula County Courthouse to honor those who have died while experiencing homelessness. This year in Missoula, 28 people who did not have a permanent home passed away.

The homeless outreach team read their names during the gathering, which occurred on a night when we were approaching record-cold temperatures. Poverello Center Executive Director Jill Bonny says they're working hard to make sure everyone has a place to stay during these freezing nights.

"All winter long we're making sure that people have a place to go. Especially by having our main shelter on Broadway, but then we stand up a second shelter in the winter months, the Johnson Street Shelter, where we're able to serve an additional 180 people. So, we're just happy that we have the space and the ability to do that, especially when it's so cold."

The Poverello Center and YWCA Missoula are among the organizations that offer programs for people experiencing homelessness in Missoula.