St. Mary’s Campus Chapel holds memorial service for homeless Rochesterians

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — It’s rarely talked about, but happens quite often in the City of Rochester. This year alone dozens of homeless Rochesterians died while living on the streets because they have no place to call home.

Tuesday, a memorial service was held in their honor at St. Mary’s Campus Chapel. The main message that was shared, no matter how these folks died somebody loved them, and they should never be forgotten.

Dozens of people turned up at the Chapel for this year’s "National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service." Adrian Walker attended the service, and can relate. He too was once homeless.

"It just felt like I needed to be here to represent my brothers, and sisters who are now gone, and it felt good," Walker said.

He also said this is the first time he’s attended the service. The names of 47 homeless individuals were honored. He called it heartwarming.

"You know I’ll take this back to my house and pray a little bit more for the brothers, and sisters that’s out in the street. You walk the streets, and see them in moments like this you really don’t understand how bad things are," Walker said.

Most of the people who attended work for Health Reach, Health Care for the Homeless. Others, like Calvin Barnes, work for Person Centered Housing Options. He explains why this is so important.

"What it has done, it allowed us to stay in touch with reality in know that we have people out there that are really suffering you understand, and you know they need somebody to really care for them. Help guide them out of the situations that they’re in," Barnes said.

He also says COVID-19 was one of the main reasons why so many homeless died this year.

"It makes me feel like we have to do that much more you understand, to make sure that the people that we work with, work for are protected, because I mean, we know there’s no, covid is no joke," Barnes said.

The National Homeless Person’s Memorial Service has been held every year since 1980.