Palatine ceremony honors the homeless who died this year

  • Joshua Russell, who is homeless, bows his head Friday during the annual homeless memorial service organized by JOURNEYS The Road Home in Palatine.

      Joshua Russell, who is homeless, bows his head Friday during the annual homeless memorial service organized by JOURNEYS The Road Home in Palatine. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Michelle Dubil lights candles Friday as JOURNEYS The Road Home holds its annual homeless memorial service in Palatine.

      Michelle Dubil lights candles Friday as JOURNEYS The Road Home holds its annual homeless memorial service in Palatine. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Clinical Director Todd Stull speaks as JOURNEYS The Road Home holds its annual homeless memorial service in Palatine Friday to honor the area's homeless who have died during the past year, as many did not have a service at the time of their passing.

      Clinical Director Todd Stull speaks as JOURNEYS The Road Home holds its annual homeless memorial service in Palatine Friday to honor the area's homeless who have died during the past year, as many did not have a service at the time of their passing. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Carol Marie and Jake O'Marrah of Deerfield sing "Longest Nights" at Friday's homeless memorial service organized by JOURNEYS The Road Home in Palatine.

      Carol Marie and Jake O'Marrah of Deerfield sing "Longest Nights" at Friday's homeless memorial service organized by JOURNEYS The Road Home in Palatine. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 12/20/2019 5:12 PM

JOURNEYS The Road Home in Palatine on Friday held its annual memorial service to honor the area's homeless who died during the past year, as many did not have a service at the time of their passing. The service and candle lighting are a reminder that homelessness is still a serious and growing problem in the Northwest suburbs and throughout the country.

"Each year we hold this memorial (on a weekday) as close to Dec. 21 as we can because Dec. 21 is the longest night of the year," said Clinical Director Todd Stull. "The longest night of the year reminds us that every night there are people without stable housing who are struggling. For many people, no matter the time of year, every night feels incredibly long because they do not have a place to call home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"This is the 16th memorial that I've been a part of. It hasn't gotten any easier to read the names of those who have died."

The first names of six people were read and seven candles were lit -- one extra for the possibility that a person was missed.

About 30 homeless people and 10 staff members took part in the ceremony.

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