Friends of the Carpenter, Outsiders Inn and the Council for the Homeless will host a Memorial for the Homeless on Fri. Dec. 21, 5:45 to 7 p.m., at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1309 Franklin St. At least 20 people with local connections who died while homeless this year will be remembered.

An important step in addressing homelessness is to assert the fundamental dignity of all persons – single adults, families, and youth – who are in situations of homelessness and poverty, and to work tirelessly to protect their basic human and civil rights. A proper memorial truly nurtures a spirit of community and compassion for all individuals. We must continue to raise the consciousness of our community while inspiring action to end homelessness in our community through systemic change.

The program will include representatives from the faith community and remarks from various individuals.

Call Friends of the Carpenter at 360-750-4752 or email before the memorial if special accommodations are needed.

Memorials for the homeless are held in cities throughout the country on Dec. 21, the first day of winter and the longest night of the year. The collective goal is to commemorate the lives of the mothers or fathers, sons or daughters who died on the streets or in emergency shelters from illness or conditions directly related to their homelessness. In many cases, these services will be the only commemoration of their lives.