New Haven memorial service remembers homeless who died in 2017

Members of the Greater New Haven community came together to recognize and honor some of the city’s homeless that passed away in 2017.

The 2nd Annual Homeless Memorial Service remembered 13 people and any one unknown that called New Haven home.

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The event brought people inside the Trinity on the Green Church during one of the coldest afternoons of the year.

“The homeless, when they pass, they get taken away from friends on the streets and then they don’t know if they’re dead or alive,” said Phill Costello with the Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center who helped organize the event. “This is a chance for them to come in and grieve and remember those that passed.”

The Malloy administration has made ending chronic homelessness a priority.

During a new conference Wednesday in New Britain, Governor Dannel Malloy said the approval and construction of 22,000 housing units for those in need is one of the bright spots from the last year.

“We’re now in a position to make sure everyone can find a home,” said Malloy. “That’s a really remarkable accomplishment for a state that hasn’t done a lot for housing in a long time.”

Costello is encouraged by the focus on ending homelessness but is concerned opioid crisis could lead to an increase in the future. He says its brining a younger and more ethnically diverse group of homeless individuals into the city.

Earlier this year, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness released a count of 3387 homeless individuals statewide. It’s a 13% decrease year over year and down 24% in the last decade.

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