Did you know that each December, the Poverello Center hosts a ceremony to honor those who passed away while experiencing homelessness in Missoula? I've always felt this is such a compassionate gesture on behalf of the Missoula community. Missoula’s Homeless Persons’ Memorial is planned by members of the At-Risk Housing Coalition, an ongoing formal task force comprised of representatives from health and human service agencies and governmental departments.

Typically the gathering is on the longest night of the year. This year, the ceremony will be on the longest night, but due to the pandemic, the event will be a webcast on Monday, December 21st, at 5:30 p.m. You can tune in on MCAT’s Facebook Live page, or by going to the MCAT website and clicking the “Local Live” link under the "Watch" tab, with live events taking place as a shorter, outdoor program for those at the Poverello Center and Johnson Street Winter Shelter.

The names of those who have passed away this year will be read by members of Missoula’s Homeless Outreach Team. Neighbors throughout the Missoula Community are encouraged to light a candle at 5:30 pm on December 21, in honor of the 25 souls that will be remembered. The Missoula County Commissioners and Mayor of Missoula have issued a joint proclamation recognizing December 21, 2020, as Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day.
"The people who passed away this year while experiencing homelessness are much more than just names for us," said Kristy Pszanowski, Lead Homeless Outreach Team member at the Poverello Center. "They are people whom we interact with on a weekly, and even daily, basis as we hand them a sack lunch or a new pair of socks, and as we try to dream with them about what it would be like to have a permanent home. We will miss them and we will remember them."
Inspired by the efforts of the National Coalition for the Homeless, which has sponsored National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day every year since 1990, Missoula will join more than 150 cities and counties across the United States to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness and to remember those who have died while living without permanent homes.
The following people will be remembered.

John Bacon

Sandra Baylor 

Melvin Brecht 

Daniel Bullplume 

John Burns 

Minnie Chiefstick 

Pedro Cruz 

Tony Eadus 

Kelly Fowler 

Tana Gayer 

Beverely George 

Jacqueline Hemrick 

Jesse James Kale Brown 

Angelina Joscum 

Joel McConnell 

Lee Nelson 

David Otte 

Charles Profit 

Cynthia Purvis 

Mary Rubnic 

Joseph Snippen 

David Spencer 

Sean Stevenson 

Steven Trosper 

Sundance Hernandez 

LOOK: 50 photos of American life in 2020

More From Alt 95.7