Today, we commemorated the lives of those in our community who passed away in 2016 after having experienced homelessness. This service was a time for family, friends, advocates, community leaders and service providers to come together and show respect to the valued lives of these most vulnerable citizens. In many cases, this service will be the only commemoration of their passing.
The Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service has been held in Central Florida since 2002. Each year the names of those lost from Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties are read and a candle is lit in their honor. Historically, there were always individuals who passed whose name was not available and thus a candle could only be lighted for a John or Jane Doe. Due to the efforts of our community to ensure that everyone has access to their legal identification documents, we are able to provide the dignity of reciting the name of every individual that has passed.
This candlelight service is always held near December 21st, the longest night of the year, as a recognition of the difficulties that nighttime causes for those that have no home. Similar services will be held in more than 125 cities across the nation, providing the respect and honor the passing of any life deserves.
Below are the names of those we honored.
Kelli Jo Brooks
Ernest W Davis
Jack “Chip” Ingram
Joseph M Kassel
Steven E Maxfield
Robert “Scott” Noller
Vivian M Porrevecchio
Francis “Buddy” Rhilander
2016 Homeless Memorial Photo Gallery: