About National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day
National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day takes place each year on the longest night of the year, the winter solstice.
The day began in 1990.
From the National Health Care for the Homeless Council:
“The National Consumer Advisory Board, the National Coalition for the Homeless, and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council encourage our constituents to organize or take part in Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day events on or around December 21st, the first day of winter and the longest night of the year. Learn why we remember this day each year through our HPMD Advocacy Agenda.”
On a single night in 2021, more than 326,000 people were experiencing sheltered homelessness in the United States. Six in ten were individuals—that is, people in households with only adults or in households with only children. Four in ten were people in families with children.
Each Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day event is unique to its community, but the events often include readings of names, candles, prayers, personal remembrances, marches, and moments of silence. They are often held outdoors, sometimes – fittingly – in the bitter cold. These events honor those who have paid the ultimate price for our collective failure to adequately address homelessness, and often include calls to address the systemic causes of tragically avoidable deaths.