Remembering those we loved and lost

01.27.20

Baltimore native and Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day planning member Mark Council helps keep friends who have passed away alive in love.


Q: How did you get involved in this event?
I’ve lived in the shelter since 2011. Two years ago, I saw the flyer, and the advocacy group I’m in, Housing Our Neighbors (HON), thought it would be a great idea to go. Now, I go to planning meetings to stay connected and share ideas.

Q: How would you describe this memorial?
It’s hard to put the event into words. People read aloud the names of people we’ve lost due to the experience of homelessness. When we come together like this, we make sure our brothers and sisters are not forgotten. We recognize them and give them the respect they deserve.

Q: What resonates most with you?
I knew some of these people. When they read my friend’s name, I thought, “Man, I just saw him.” He was a good guy. I met him up at the shelter, and I was really heartbroken when he passed away. One name is too many, but over the last year we went up to almost 200.

Q: How can we make sure there are fewer names on the list next year?
People need to get informed about what’s happening in the homeless community. Remember that on any given day, you could be homeless. Take the time to check on people you see sleeping on the streets and make sure they’re doing okay. That can save a life.


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