Erie County holds Homeless Persons' Memorial Day service

ERIE, Pa. -- Teeth were chattering and bodies were shaking as Erie residents braced the cold to commemorate Homeless Persons' Memorial Day.

The first day of winter means the longest night of the year. The Erie County Home Team called attention to the tragedy of homelessness and remembering those who lost their lives on the streets.

On Wednesday, six homeless men and women who died in the past year were remembered.

Dressed in hats and boots, many remembered that these are the conditions the homeless deal with every day.

Six people in Erie County died last year, while 550,000 homeless people died throughout the nation last year in 2015.

While there are 5,080 homeless people taking advantage of the city's warming shelters every night, once the sun rises, they are forced to find new shelter from the cold.

The community praising the more than 30 agencies that help these people in need with food, shelter and clothing.

But while the community organizations work to eliminate homelessness, they say there will always be that next program that causes someone to be homeless.

"Being poor makes you invisible,” Maj. Leslie Walter of the Salvation Army said. “And I just think it is so sad that in a nation that is as blessed by God as the United States that we have people who are dying on the street from the cold or hungry. It makes no sense to me and it just breaks my heart when I see that."

For more, visit http://www.eriehometeam.org/get-help/.


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