Homeless vigil in Portland

The many people gathering here tonight are remembering more than 30 homeless people who died this year. That is the most that has ever been included in the ceremony that began 20 years ago. Hundreds of participants marched from Preble Street to Monument Square in honor of those who died. They are remembering 35 homers and previously homeless people who passed away this year, including two victims of the deadly fire on Noyes Street. A high number of adults in their 20’s and 30’s are being remembered tonight, 80% of those are women.

“We know that women are more protected that are housed. Young women that end up in homelessness are much more vulnerable, much more at risk, and really suffer greatly and often die earlier,” said Donna Yellen, Chief Program Officer at Preble Street.

Organizers say they choose to host this event on or near the winter solstice, the longest night of the year.