Calgarians lost to homelessness remembered at memorial event

An event to commemorate Calgarians lost to homelessness in the past year was held Wednesday night at city hall.

The eighth annual Longest Night of the Year memorial service is co-ordinated by the Client Action Committee.

The committee is made up of Calgarians who have experienced homelessness, with support from the Calgary Homeless Foundation.

Those taking part remembered those who died in 2022 while sleeping rough, in emergency shelters or succumbing to illnesses or conditions related to homelessness.

“This is a place where people can remember someone how they remember them. We accept street names for the memorial,” said Nigel Kirk, committee member.

“And I think that’s very important as well, because when you’re on the street, you’re on a family – street family. That’s how you remember them. That’s how you want to honour them.”

The event featured Indigenous drummers and dancers, eulogies, a reading of names of those who have died and a minute of silence.

“When you think about being safe, addressing your health, your mental health, it’s exceptionally hard to do that without a home,” said Matt Nomura of the foundation.

“And I think that this highlights that, you know, you can’t be outside and without a home and expect to be safe.” 

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