Memorial Service Honors the 35 Homeless Men and Women Who Passed Away In 2012

November 9, 2012 7:51 am · 16 comments

Project HOPE’s 8th Annual Homeless Memorial will be held Friday, November 9, 2012 from 10:00AM – 1:00PM at the Concord United Methodist Church. The Memorial is planned and hosted by the community-based nonprofit, Anka Behavioral Health, Inc. (Anka), to remember the lives of the men and women who experienced homelessness and passed away in 2012.

Anka and Project HOPE have hosted this special memorial service for the past eight years, gathering the entire community together to remember and celebrate the lives of those who have passed over the last year. Of the 35 men and women being honored this year, many have passed while living on the streets or in encampments while others were formerly homeless or homeless service providers and advocates.

The number of those who have passed always increases on the day of the event as the homeless community often reveals additional individuals and honors their passing. From July 2011 to June 2012, 3,567 individuals in Contra Costa County accessed Anka’s homeless services programs. Of these numbers, 8% are youth (0-18 years), 71% are adults (18-55 years), 21% are older adults (55+ years), and 7.8% are veterans. Despite the prevalence of homelessness, people without homes still face stigma and a lack of access to basic services. Nationwide, homeless people are three to six times as likely to experience illness as people with homes, but are less likely to have access to appropriate healthcare services. Anka and Project HOPE work with the Contra Costa Continuum of Care, other homeless providers, and the community to increase awareness and provide shelter and services.

The Homeless Memorial will include a color guard composed of veterans, prayer, guest speakers from Anka, County behavioral health and homeless services departments, and homeless and veterans affairs advocates, and open forum in which attendees may share their personal memories about those who have passed. Lunch will be provided and all are invited to attend.

Shayne Kaleo, Anka’s Regional Director of Contra Costa County Housing and Homeless Services and coordinator of the homeless memorial, stated “Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, ‘Everyone is precious, everyone matters’ – that is the spirit that the Project HOPE Homeless Memorial embraces and the mentality we want the public to remember when thinking about the hundreds of men and women facing homelessness every year in our community.”

Anonymous November 9, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Thank you Project Hope for having this service.

really....??? November 9, 2012 at 10:28 AM

@ Schmee:
If someone was truely in their right mind, they wouldn’t choose to be homeless. Many of the homeless are mentally ill to some degree and don’t have the ability to make the right choices like you and I have.
Also, many homeless are not there of their choosing, but are there as a result of circumstances beyond their control….job loss etc.
Please show some compassion, as you never know where your circumstances will lead you….in spite of your best intentions!!
We reap what we sow…..

Truth November 9, 2012 at 11:17 AM

I wish it was 55 . . about 20 Concord homeless could join them !

hahayourefunny November 9, 2012 at 12:08 PM

wow. such heartlessness. i’ll never cease to be amazed at the callousness displayed by some people. I am glad that an organization and some people out there understand that all humans are priceless, deserving of dignity and respect. I’ve known many people who have struggled with homelessness, some of them were able to get back on their feet, some of them were not. We can never know another person’s trials and tribulations, or why they are in the situation they are in, or assume that, given their circumstances, we would have turned out any differently. I understand that it is easier to condemn than to think critically about these issues, but seriously people!

Feckin Irish Mouse November 9, 2012 at 12:16 PM

@ really #2 and hahayourefunny #4 – yes some on Claycord (like Schmee)are truly heartless……..but are stupid enough to camp out for a free chicken sandwich…………………Those that truly chose be homeless as few. They will never accept any of the services as they don’t want to live by societies rules. In the 60’s they were called “hippies” and lived in communes somewhere………………Other homeless have hit the skids economically or mentally and those are the ones I feel bad for. Also a sizable amount of homeless are Veterans. One would think with Veterans Day Sunday that some could eek out a bit of compation for those that served this country.

teri November 9, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Is the #35 for CCC only?

Jenn November 9, 2012 at 1:53 PM

These are people who litter do drugs drink and sit in front of stores or the freeway off ramps and bum money from us also who choose to be homeless because they can’t get off the drugs or alcohol I’m sorry the lost their lives but why honor them? These people need to be either put in a place they can get the help they need not running the streets of anywhere littering or bumming money.

BlueJay November 9, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Mr. Mayor,

Something seems amiss. There are references to 35+ comments but only 7 are showing. Is there a glitch or were the comments so bad that you had to delete them? November 9, 2012 at 2:46 PM

@BlueJay, it’s a glitch.

Anonymous November 9, 2012 at 4:17 PM


Why have this service? Maybe because some of them have NO family and have been disowned. They have a few friends, and it is a way for those friends to say goodbye. Ever think about that? Should they not be allowed a memorial service like the rest of us just because they are homeless? Parts of you post seems very cold-hearted.

BTW not every homeless person does what you state. Yes, there are those who do, but not ALL of them do.

anon November 9, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Now, I’m not one to go and tell people what they should or shouldn’t do, but I will not support and organization that throws money away by “honoring” or “celebrating” dead people. Those people are dead. It’s the living that need help. This sort of superstitious nonsense may salve some guilt, but wouldn’t that guilt be better salved by having an event that honors the living? I feel the same way about those who aren’t homeless, so this is no dig on them, but these are funds that people have donated in order to help homeless people, not dead people.

anon November 9, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Note to non-homeless;
Do not do drugs, save for a rainy day…remember all the money you spend on alcohol, drugs, gambeling and alcohol…means you will be homeless some day………….

Darwin November 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM

the majority of homeless people with mental illness was self inflicted with drugs and alcohol. you would be hard pressed to find one that has not been to a rehab facility.

anon November 10, 2012 at 7:02 PM

“the majority of homeless people with mental illness was self inflicted with drugs and alcohol. ”

No sympathy here

Tommy Lock November 11, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Its a when a bunch of stuck up POS people act like they no why or what someone they have never met ends up homeless. Its sad that these people don’t get a chance or an oppertunity to getoff the streets every homeless person would like to.have a home. I hope with all my heart that all these so called upity people get a chance to be homeless that learn them. I’m about to be out there myself and I dare any of you week people to come talk that crap to me. I’m not a drug addict. But it would be easy to become one with as hard as life can be these days good Lu k to all thehomeless a people live and let live. The place will be much nicer with people that don’t condemned other people be nice its easy try it sometime. And God bless those whom believe in the lord.

. . . .Hey Tommy . . . November 11, 2012 at 2:16 PM

The P.O.S. is you . . Homelessness is a LIFESTYLE choice . . there are so many services provided but these BUMS they will have none of it . . .They like thier drug alcohol lifestyle and will NEVER change . . .Dont call people uppity because they are tired of seeing bums urinating and loitering in front of businesses begging on freeway off ramps and going through recycle bins . . if your such a friggen bleeding heart and find all of this acceptable have a couple of the mutants move into your house or allow them to set up a tent in your back yard . . .yeah thats what I thought . . . go LOCK yourself in a old refrigerator for a couple of hours you lib douche. . . .I WANT MY OLD CONCORD BACK!!!

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