Outdoor service remembers homeless who have died

Posted on January 14, 2015
People stand beside the homeless memorial outside Holy Trinity, Trinity Square during a service on Jan. 13. Photos by Michael Hudson

People stand beside the homeless memorial outside Holy Trinity, Trinity Square during a service on Jan. 13. Photos by Michael Hudson

By Stuart Mann

As the temperature plunged for a second time this winter, about 60 people, including some City of Toronto councillors, gathered at the homeless memorial outside Holy Trinity, Trinity Square on Jan. 13 to remember the men and women who have died on the city’s streets. The service included a moment of silence, a poem and a song. “It’s not okay that our friends, our brothers and our sisters are dying without a place to call home,” said Greg Cook, one of the organizers. He read out the names of 19 homeless people who died in 2014 and three who have died in 2015. Two men died last week during the city’s first cold snap, prompting social justice advocates to call for earlier cold weather alerts, more shelter beds and more affordable housing. The service at Holy Trinity, which is located behind the Eaton Centre in downtown Toronto, is held at noon on the second Tuesday of each month. The memorial lists the names of more than 700 people, many referred to simply as Jane or John Doe.

The Rev. Sherman Hesselgrave, incumbent of Holy Trinity, speaks at the service.

The Rev. Sherman Hesselgrave, incumbent of Holy Trinity, speaks at the service.

City Councillor Joe Mihevc and other councillors attend the service.

City Councillor Joe Mihevc and other councillors attend the service.

Affordable housing advocate Michael Shapcott, a member of Holy Trinity, addresses city councillors.

Affordable housing advocate Michael Shapcott, a member of Holy Trinity, addresses city councillors.

Remembering those who have died.

Remembering those who have died.

A hot lunch is served in Holy Trinity after the service.

A hot lunch is served in Holy Trinity after the service.

For related story, see Anglicans Speak Out, Take Action For Homeless During Cold Spell. Learn about the Diocese’s Social Justice and Advocacy initiatives.