National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day

National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day on the first day of winter remembers those in the homeless community who have died the previous year. The day reminds us to honor them and remember the life they lived.

Homelessness is a year-round concern for many. Winter increases the anxiety associated with finding shelter. During the holidays, the media focus their attention on raising awareness and improving opportunities. It’s an ideal time to garner a public forum for the issue, and local groups are encouraged to seek out and work with their local media outlets to publicize the event.

From state to state, the quality and availability of homeless shelters vary. The number of homeless in each state will vary as well. However, according to – state of the homeless in America, in 2018, approximately half a million people were homeless in the United States. Of those, almost 200,000 were unsheltered.

Many of their families don’t know where they are. When they become sick or injured and they die in an ER or in the street, their families don’t know. Sometimes, they left for a reason or had nowhere else to go. No matter what their story was, they deserve a ceremony to remember them.

HOW TO OBSERVE #HomelessPersonsRemembranceDay

The day encourages local groups across the country to determine the number of homeless persons in their community who died in the previous year. Arrange a ceremony to remember them. Candlelight marches, vigils, graveside services, plays and performances, religious services, and public policy advocacy are the suggested ways of remembering. Some groups have read publicly a list of names of the deceased. Use #HomelessPersons’RemembranceDay to post on social media.


Since 1990, the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council have sponsored National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day to bring attention to the plight of the nation’s homeless population and to encourage the public to act on their behalf.

National Coalition for the Homeless
2201 P St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037
202-462-4822; fax: 202-462-4823