Memorial held for homeless who died in Fort Wayne this year

People walk from the Rescue Mission to Trinity English Lutheran Church for a memorial service.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- People gathered downtown Thursday night to participate in a tribute to homeless people who lost their lives in Fort Wayne in 2017.

Thursday was the first day of winter and the longest night of the year, so people walked from the Rescue Mission to Trinity English Lutheran Church as part of the “Longest Night” Memorial Walk.

They carried candles and flashlights to honor the more than 20 homeless people who lost their lives in the area this year.

Rescue Mission staff say, in many cases, this service is the only commemoration of the life and passing of these persons.

Once participants arrived at Trinity Lutheran, a memorial service was held.

“It makes us feel great that people are willing to remember those who maybe don’t live in their communities, but are part of our broader community and that their lives matter,”said Trinity Lutheran Pastor Gary Erdos.

People who participated in the walk also donated much needed items to the Rescue Mission like clothing and winter gear.