Local
10:39 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

Candlelight Vigil Held for Departed Homeless Man

A candlelight vigil was held on Wednesday evening for Craig Duncan, a homeless man who died this year while living on the streets of Pittsburgh.

Sundown on December 21 usually begins the longest night of the year, and Operation Safety Net has held memorial services for departed homeless people on that date for 21 years.

About twenty people gathered to pray and sing "Amazing Grace," standing beneath an underpass in downtown Pittsburgh, where a wall of plaques denote the 120 local homeless persons who've passed away since 1990.

Operation Safety Net Program Director Linda Sheets said that during the holidays, it's important to consider those who don't have a home.

"They're not dying with loved ones around, or in the comforts of anything that can make their pain a little easier," said Sheets. "They're dying in the streets."

In most years, several plaques are cemented into the underpass wall enscribed with the names of the homeless who have died in the past 12 month, but Sheets said that even one death is still too many.