Homeless advocates and others will gather tonight at The Salvation Armys winter shelter to remember 17 homeless men and women who died in the Modesto area in the past year.
This is the eighth year that homeless advocates have held a candlelight vigil for those who lived and died on the margins.
The vigil is part of National Homeless Persons Memorial Day, with communities across the nation holding vigils this week. Organizers of the Modesto vigil include The Salvation Army, Stanislaus Countys Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and Golden Valley Health Centers.
The list of those who died was compiled by people who work with the homeless and may not reflect all of the homeless people who died in the past 12 months.
We want to remember the people who died out here on the streets, Salvation Army Capt. Lisa Smith said. We want to remember the least fortunate in our community. They are important in the eyes of God, and we want to give them some dignity in their death.
The tally of this years deaths is similar to previous years. Last years vigil remembered 11 homeless people, and the 2011 vigil marked the deaths of 18 homeless men and women.
Tonights event starts with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the vigil at 6 at The Salvation Armys Berberian Homeless and Transition Shelter at Ninth and D streets near downtown.
Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2316.