The 2017 Homeless Memorial Service took place on Thursday, October 19th at 2pm at the memorial stone in Polson Park.
In 2013 Chuck Harper noticed a number of our marginalized population were dying from a number of different issues. As he calls it a Popeye Moment when he knew he needed to do something about it. In 2013, 14 men and women had passed away in Vernon compared to a city like Santa Clara California who population was 1.8 million. They lost 52 men and women. This was a big deal. So he began working with the other agencies, the city and some individuals who felt the same way as Chuck and a large rock, plaque and space was donated in Polson Park. The purpose of the memorial is two fold. The first is to provide a quiet respectful place for people to come and remember loved ones. This gives them dignity. Secondly as a place of advocacy. Death on the streets continues to be a problem and it is not going away. The issues are complex. But we need to do more about these tragic deaths and losses of loved ones. Many of these deaths are largely preventable. So yearly the community gathers together to remember our fallen friends.
Read how it all started in this article.
Latest response from this years memorial shows how important peoples stories are. Read here.