Key West Mayor Craig Cates and City Commissioners Jimmy Weekley and Sam Kaufman proclaimed Dec. 21st National Homeless Persons Memorial Day during last week’s meeting at Old City Hall.
For the past 16 years, the community has gathered to remember those men, women and children who have died homeless in Monroe County with this proclamation designating the longer night of the year in their honor. More than 70 homeless people have died in our community over the past year.
At 3 p.m. on December 18th, the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition will coordinate a prayer service at the Key West Cemetery and inter the remains of those who died homeless in Monroe County over the past year.
Stephanie Kaple, chief operating officer of the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, accepted the proclamation. She said, in the weeks before the holidays, it’s a good time to think of those who have so much less. To think of those people who have died unnoticed and alone.
“It’s important for us to reflect,” she said, “and give them a final remembrance that they may not have otherwise received.”
“In this season of peace and goodwill, the citizens of Key West are encouraged to commit themselves to promoting compassion and concern for all members of our One Human Family, especially those who are poor and homeless,” reads the proclamation. “By remembering those who have died on the streets, the cause of ending homelessness is kept urgent.”