HEART OF UTAH

Memorial service for over 150 homeless people held in Salt Lake City

Aug 18, 2021, 5:45 AM | Updated: 2:31 pm
memorial service for 150 homeless...
The Very Rev. Martin Diaz listens as Wendy Garvin, executive director of Unsheltered Utah, reads the name of someone who passed away and whose remains were never claimed during a service at The Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. The cathedral and Neil O’Donnell Funeral Home jointly hosted a service honoring more than 150 people, many of whom were homeless, whose remains were never claimed. Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A memorial service for over 150 homeless people was held Tuesday night in Salt Lake City. 

The We Are All One memorial was an idea of Chaplain Shantel McBride. She said it came to her after seeing the unclaimed cremated remains of 159 people who died on the streets. These deaths happened in Salt Lake City between 2018 and 2020. 

 “I just felt this heaviness,” McBride explained. “I thought gosh, how sad.” 

The service was held at Neil O’Donnell Mortuary. Chaplain McBride led the memorial, which also included musical performances from Alex Boye and local musician Scott Wright. 

McBride said they knew so little about the 159 people who died. What they do know is each person had a story. 

“Maybe they’ve suffered from addiction or just had problems with the family, and the families just said ‘we severed ties with them how many years ago, just do what you want with the remains.’ And then others, we couldn’t find. Some of these people might not even be from Utah,” McBride added. 

Prayers offered at the Cathedral of the Madeleine 

Attendees then walked to the Cathedral of the Madeleine, escorted by the Salt Lake City Pipe Band. 

After arriving, attendees were greeted by the Very Reverend Martin Diaz, Rector, with a prayer for the lives lost. 

The congregation was then invited up to read each of the 159 names from the pulpit. 

What’s most important to McBride is that the homeless in Utah know they are not alone. 

McBride said, “I just really want them to know that they’re not forgotten and that when they pass on they don’t just go and their life meant nothing.” 

She hopes to make this homeless memorial an annual event moving forward. 

 

Chaplain Shantel McBride carries candles to the Cathedral of the Madeline to remember those homeless who died and were unclaimed.
Colby Walker KSL NewsRadio The Very Rev. Martin Diaz listens as Wendy Garvin, executive director of Unsheltered Utah, reads the name of someone who passed away and whose remains were never claimed during a service at The Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. The cathedral and Neil O’Donnell Funeral Home jointly hosted a service honoring more than 150 people, many of whom were homeless, whose remains were never claimed.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News	Colby Walker KSL NewsRadio Jeffery C. Olsen, Scott Wright, Chaplain Shantel McBride, Alex Boye, Very Reverend Martin Diaz gather at the Cathedral of the Madeline to remember 

Colby Walker KSL NewsRadio The Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, UT (Nick Wyatt, KSL Newsradio)

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Heart of Utah

Utah history...
Elizabeth Weiler

Division of State History spreading awareness for Utah History Month in January

SALT LAKE CITY — In 2019, Utahs Division of State History created Utah History Month to draw attention to Utah’s history work happening across our state and to document and preserve that history. Utah is entering its’ 127th year of statehood next month and many Utah-culture related events and exhibits will follow according to the […]
2 months ago
Water Canyon High School footbal players stay warm using Dixie High School football teams cold weat...
Alejandro Lucero

Water Canyon football stays warm with help from school district partner

The high school's inaugural football season almost came to an end because of the snow, but strong partnerships gave them a fighting chance.
3 months ago
The very first ever Miss Volunteer America is Mapleton, Utah's own Alexa Knutzer. Photo courtesy of...
Mark Jackson

Mapleton woman crowned first-ever ‘Miss Volunteer America’

Alexa Knutzen said the name Miss Volunteer America represents the organization's new focus on women's empowerment.
9 months ago
refugees Ukraine...
Mark Jackson

Brigham City man uses time between work gigs to help refugees in Ukraine

His family says Solomon Smith is uniquely trained to bring supplies to refugees in Ukraine, after having worked in the Peace Corp in Africa.
10 months ago
Spencer Truman st george wwii veteran...
Simone Seikaly

St. George WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday on Valentine’s Day

Spencer Truman was trained to enter combat in gliders, and fought in Operations Overlord and Market Garden, and the Battle of the Bulge.
12 months ago
afghan community fund helps refugees arriving in utah - small boy holds drawing...
Becky Bruce

Update: Afghan Community Fund raises more than a million for Utah refugees

The Afghan Community Fund collected more than $1.1 million since mid-October, though Gov. Spencer Cox acknowledged an unprecedented level of need.
1 year ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Memorial service for over 150 homeless people held in Salt Lake City