Vigil to honor those lost while experiencing homelessness
SALT LAKE CITY– A candlelight vigil honoring those who died while experiencing homelessness this year will be held at Pioneer Park on Wednesday.
According to a press release from the Fourth Street Clinic, at least 152 Utahs have died so far in 2022, exceeding last year’s number.
The vigil comes on the heels of Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall’s executive order authorizing the city’s shelters to open 95 additional beds.
Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and State Homeless Coordinator and board member of Shelter the Homeless, Wayne Niederhauser will speak at the event.
According to the press release, of those who died this year, the youngest was 18 and the oldest was 78. Two of them were brother and sister, both having died at the age of 18, only two years apart.
The release noted that this is the only service many of these individuals will receive to be remembered.
Homeless service agencies in Utah believe the number of people who have died this year while experiencing homelessness exceeds the 152 reported, the release said.
Assuring everyone is accounted for
According to the release, the Utah Office of The Medical Examiner will be tracking housing status at the time of death for anyone who passes away in the state of Utah beginning Jan. 1.
The statement said the data collected is meant to provide information on the average life expectancy of someone experiencing homelessness.
It will also give statistical evidence on the causes of death of community members honored at this yearly vigil.
Furthermore, the Fourth Street Clinic staff plans to work with outreach teams of homeless resource providers to confirm the names of those who die on the street.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Fourth Street Clinic, Janida Emerson, the vigil acts as an important community ritual. The vigil will honor each life behind the names read aloud and let the community grieve together.
The vigil is from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
Related reading: Help the homeless in Utah by shattering myths, says Utah advocate
Today’s Top Stories
- Lockout lifted for Hunter High and Hunter Elementary Schools
- Home schools and micro-schooling defined under new Utah bill
- GoFundMe created for passing of two employees at Northrop Grumman
- Full-sized Target coming to former Dillard’s at Provo’s Towne Centre
- Biden to test run his reelection message in his first State of the Union to a divided Congress
- Utah hasn’t had this much snowfall since 2011, according to NWS
- One dead after four-vehicles crash on U.S. Highway-40
- Utah Corrections offers more details on recent assaults against officers
- Lawyers say new Petito photos prove Moab Police ignored evidence of abuse
- Utah snowpack at a 10-year-high