People's City Mission Holds Homeless Memorial

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Lincoln, NEB.-- Saturday at the People's City Mission there was an emotional remembrance of 13 homeless men and women who passed away this year. The reasons for their passings ranged from the weather to random acts of violence.

Organizer Brian Thomas said the memorial is not only a chance to pay respects to those people, but also to bring attention to the crisis of homelessness.

Ron Thyberg knew half of the people whose pictures were on the table at the People's City Mission memorial.

"They way they lost their lives- they were not soldiers. They were homeless people," he said.

For organizers- that's part of the purpose of the night. To help friends say goodbye- and to bring attention to the perils of homelessness.

"The homeless population faces the same issues that everybody else does, but they're exacerbated by extreme poverty," said Thomas.

Kristine Rodriguez works at the Mission. She and other staff members became close with Cassie, one of the women remembered, who recently lost her battle with addiction.

"It shouldn't have happened. How she died shouldn't have happened," said Rodriguez.

"She had moved on then and she moved to another city and just recently, just a few weeks ago we had heard that she had died," she added.

It was a chance for people at the Mission and members of the community to say goodbye to those who won't see 2014. And to give remembrance to those in the community who might not otherwise be celebrated.

"I felt that I had to come here, pay my respects," said Thyberg.

"We as a community will be affected by these deaths," said Rodriguez.

Thomas said this time of year is the perfect time to remember those homeless who have died. With Christmas coming up he hopes people will remember the homeless in the holiday spirit.


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