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Homeless Persons Memorial Day Marked In Louisville

Dozens of people gathered on the steps of Metro Hall on a cold Monday afternoon to remember those who died homeless in Louisville over the past year.

Maria Price of the St. John Center read the names of the 27 homeless men and women who passed away in Louisville since Christmas Day of 2008. They ranged in age from 37 to 87.Among the speakers here was Mary Frances Shafer of the Coalition for the Homeless."These people were mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. The reasons for their being homeless are as varied as the names their mothers and fathers gave them," she said.Another participant was the Reverend Joe Phelps of Highland Baptist Church, who called on the community to resist judgement and show compassion to those who are living on Louisville's streets.The service was one of many held across the country to coincide with the first day of winter. It included a symbolic coffin and funeral procession to the top of the Metro Hall steps.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.