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Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day

The National Consumer Advisory Board, the National Coalition for the Homeless, and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council encourage our constituents to organize or take part in Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day events on or around December 21st, the first day of winter and the longest night of the year. Learn why we remember this day each year through our HPMD Public Statement and Advocacy Agenda.

At these events each year, we remember those who have died and we strengthen our resolve to work for a world where no life is lived or lost in homelessness. We state clearly, together with others in scores of communities across our nation, that no person should die for lack of housing.

30 Years of Homeless Person’s Memorial Day

Unfortunately, 2020 marks 30 years of honoring those without homes who have passed away in our communities. For this unique event we have a number of resources to help communities think about how to create meaningful remembrances.

Make plans to attend the HPMD Virtual Memorial on Monday, December 21, at 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT, hosted by the National Coalition for the Homeless. Register here. 

 

Local Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day Events

Each Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day event is unique to its community, but the events often include readings of names, candles, prayers, personal remembrances, marches, and moments of silence. They are often held outdoors, sometimes – fittingly – in the bitter cold. These events honor those who have paid the ultimate price for our collective failure to adequately address homelessness, and often include calls to address the systemic causes of tragically avoidable deaths.

A succinct Organizing Manual for HPMD is now available. In it you will find guidelines for planning these events, sample documents, and suggestions for addressing policy issues related to homeless deaths. Please use it to borrow ideas from others and to help create a moving and powerful local event.

For help in organizing your local Homeless Person’s Memorial Day or to let us know about your event, please contact Katherine Cavanaugh, the Council’s Consumer Advocate, or the National Coalition for the Homeless.

Honoring those we have lost

Each year, we lose our friends and colleagues to homelessness. In 2019, the National HCH Council interviewed clinicians, administrators, and consumers of homeless health care to create the first national collection of oral histories of people who have died while experiencing homelessness. These stories illuminate the perspectives and personalities of people who have died without housing. Our hope is to illustrate not only their lives but the conditions that led to their deaths to reduce stigma, spotlight barriers to care, and bring attention to the preventable tragedy of homeless deaths.

Visit our collection of stories of those without homes who passed away due to the injustice of homelessness. 

Resources for Planning Events

Resources on Deaths of People Experiencing Homelessness

 

NHCHC Media Experts: COVID-19

To request an interview with a National Health Care for the Homeless Council staff or community member, contact Terri Woodmore, Communications Manager.

Council Staff

Hugo Aguas, MA

Research Associate

Hugo works with the research team to research health outcomes using data driven methodologies, Hugo collaborates with other community health partners throughout the country to develop educational materials pertaining to medical care for those experiencing homelessness. Hugo also disseminates data and provides ease-of-access to community partners throughout the nation, and assists in writing publications and scheduling educational seminars on public health amongst those experiencing homelessness.

 

 

Barbara DiPietro, PhD

Senior Director of Policy

Barbara directs the policy and advocacy activities for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. This includes conducting policy analysis, providing educational materials and presentations to a broad range of policymakers and other stakeholders, coordinating the Council’s policy priorities with national partners, and organizing staff assistance to the Policy Committee and the National Consumer Advisory Board.

 

 

Tineciaa Harris MSPH, MS

Clinical and Quality Improvement Manager

Tineciaa works to improve the clinical environment in health centers broadly through education, training, technical assistance, and policy with a focus on quality improvement. Tineciaa operates on the national level in frequent partnership with both federal and non-profit organizations and leads initiatives that seek to improve health outcomes for people experiencing homelessness.

 

 

Katie League, LCSW-C

COVID-19 Project Manager (Policy Team)

Katie works with the policy team to support the Council’s efforts surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic. She works to identify and promote promising practices, common challenges, and key policy issues faced by the HCH community.

 

 

 

Courtney Pladsen, DNP, FNP-BC, RN

Director of Clinical and Quality Improvement

Courtney Pladsen leads initiatives to improve the delivery of primary care, substance use treatment, and mental health care nationally. She directs training and quality improvement initiatives, and contributes to research and policy recommendations on emerging clinical issues affecting people experiencing homelessness.

Bobby Watts

Bobby Watts, MPH, MS

Chief Executive Officer

Bobby Watts has 30 years of experience in administration, direct service, and implementation of homeless health services, beginning as a live-in counselor at the New York City Rescue Mission. He spent most of his career prior to joining the Council at Care for the Homeless, which operates clinics and shelters and conducts policy analysis and advocacy in New York City.

HCH Community Experts

 

Kristie Hartig, MSN, RN, PHN, CWOCN
Topeka, KS

Erin Ryan, MSW, MPH
Senior Vice President, The Night Ministry
Chicago, IL

Return to main Experts Guide page

 

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