Zack Darrah and Mary McGarvin pose for a photo in front of a painting of the founder of the Poverello House, Mary’s husband Michael “Papa Mike” McGarvin. 2019 photo by Donald A. Promnitz
Written by Ben Hensley
The Poverello House will once again host the Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day Wednesday at 6 p.m. near the F Street entrance to the center.
National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day is held each year on the winter solstice — the first day of winter and longest night of the year — and aims to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness, inviting attendees to remember those who have died without housing.
“It’s going to be very cold; it will help us really connect those of us in the community who attend for this moment to really see how cold it is for our homeless population,” said CEO of Poverello House Zack Darrah.
The Poverello House focuses their efforts on prioritizing warmth, providing both warm food and shelter for homeless populations during the winter months.
“Currently a big concern for us is making sure people are warm enough out on the street,” Darrah added.
At the event, both providers and friends will read eulogies and recognize the more than 50 homeless people who have died as a direct result of their living situation.
The event has been sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) since its inaugural event in 1990.
The Fresno area has held memorials for its homeless population since 1990, with Darrah adding that similar events may have even taken place prior to that.
The event is free of charge and open to the public.