Annual Homeless Persons’ Memorial Vigil



The longest night of the year is a time to remember our homeless friends who have died and to recommit ourselves to the task of ending homelessness. A candlelight procession will start at the Maine Medical Center-Preble Street Learning Collaborative at 20 Portland Street at 4:30 pm, and will proceed to Monument Square for a ceremony dedicated to those persons who have died in our community.

All persons who are homeless, who have been homeless, who work with people who are homeless, or who are thankful they are not homeless are welcome to participate. 

If you would like to help keep people who are living outside warm this winter, we will be accepting donations between 4-4:30pm as we gather at 20 Portland St. of new socks, hand warmers, or winter gloves.


Every year on the Winter Solstice — the longest night of homelessness — a candlelight procession proceeds to Monument Square in Portland for a ceremony dedicated to those persons who have died in our community. 

The life expectancy of our friends who endure chronic homelessness is 28 years shorter, on average, than that of people who are housed. The human toll of allowing these vulnerable neighbors to slip through the cracks is devastating.

These deaths are the result of a broken system. As a community, we must come together to provide affordable housing and more housing first programs, dignified shelter, and expanded services for physical and mental health and substance use disorders.

Together we will mourn the lives that were cut short, and reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that everyone who needs a home finds one.


The Artists Rapid Response Team (ARRT!) created this beautiful banner in December 2022 for the Annual Homeless Persons’ Memorial Vigil.

Thank you to LumenARRT! for helping us to memorialize the people we lost in 2022.

Photos from the 2022 Vigil


Portland’s Annual Homeless Persons’ Memorial Vigil

In 2020, over 64 people in the Portland homeless community died. The youngest was 22 years old.

AlisonBillDorothy H. JesseLarryPaul Tommy
AllenBryanEleanorJoe LeoRobertTroy
AmandaCaitlinElizabethJoeyLouis RonWilliam 
AminaCharles EllenJoyMeganRourkeZachary
Andy M.Chris EricJudyMichael A.Ryan Zoe
Andy N.CristalGeraldJustinMichael B.Scottie 
AnitaDanielJames D.Karen Michael E.Sean 
AshleaDebraJames M.KevinMichael P.Shawn A. 
BarbaraDieudonneJane Kim D.MysteriousShawn B. 
BethDorothy F.Jason Kim H.Neil Shawn O. 


Members of the homeless community recorded these songs in honor of the people who died this year. Some clips were included in the vigil video, and the full songs can be heard below.