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Annual march to honor homeless who died this year will be Dec. 17

Organizers will honor people who have died in the past year while homeless, and may not have had a fitting memorial.

The annual march and memorial service for people who have died in the past year while homeless will be Dec. 17 in Minneapolis.

Last year, more than 200 people attended the event and honored 158 people who had died during the year, many without a fitting memorial.

Marchers will march silently, starting at 5 p.m., from the Hennepin County Government Center. They’ll walk on 5th Street to Nicollet Avenue then south to Simpson United Methodist Church, 2740 1st Av. South.

Names of the deceased will be on signs that are carried in the march.

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The memorial service will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the name of each person who has died this year while homeless, or advocated for them, will be read.

The event began in 1984 as a way to provide dignity to those who have died. Organizers say in the mid-1990s they added the “march portion of the memorial to help raise awareness of the issue of homelessness. It was initially a protest but gently grew into a silent vigil.”