Last night, and each December around these shortest days of the year, a vigil and silent march and rememberance service are held to remember those who died while experiencing homelessness, those who previously experienced it, and those who lent their voices to advocate. The quiet march through Minneapolis spreads awareness, and we are uncomfortably cold for a small bit of time to make real the situation our neighbors live daily. In years past we snuggled into pews for a service (now virtual) to light a candle for each life lost and share stories and laugh and cry, sing and drum…. COVID has changed the tradition, but the need to not let these lives lost go unnoticed and to come together to grieve remains.
Through the murder of George Floyd by MPD and the unjust impacts of COVID, it is clearer than ever that those who are unhoused are our friends and family and have lived in our neighborhood park and are not as different or far as we thought. We’ve brought meals or volunteered time or given to community aid groups…. I know that has caused me to look at my city differently, to listen to more stories. This is a simple ask to keep that commitment to look and listen as COVID stretches on, as our fatigue with sparking systemic change grows… For some really practical ways to keep the conversation before your eyes and continue to listen and learn in Minneapolis, check out these organizations: