Everett Candlelight Vigil Honors People Who Died While Experiencing Homelessness Here

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Dozens of people participated in the candlelight vigil.

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An honor guard from Naval Station Everett presented the colors.

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Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson spoke of how his opinion of homelessness has been transformed.

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People listened as 17 names were read of those who had died on Snohomish County streets.

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A trumpeter from Edmonds Police played Taps.

The 5th Annual Homeless Memorial Day Vigil was held this afternoon in downtown Everett at the county courthouse, in front of the Eternal Flame.

Dozens of people held candles and listened as the names were read aloud of 17 people who died as they were experiencing homelessness in Snohomish County this year.

That list included six veterans. The ceremony is a part of a national event and is sponsored by the Snohomish County Veterans Homelessness Committee.

December 21st is chosen because it is the longest night of the year.

The wife of one of the deceased vets received a flag in honor of her husband.

The speakers included Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson who spoke of how his thoughts of those experiencing homelessness have transformed over the last couple of years.

“My focus had been on the problems created by people living on the streets” said the Mayor. “But as I’ve had the chance to talk with our service providers and heard the stories from our police officers and social worker, and as I’ve interacted with our homeless citizens, it’s become clear that this is a complex challenge, and it can’t be solved simply by telling people to “get a job.”

The crowd also heard from a trio of people who work daily with those who are experiencing homelessness who described why they do what they do and what they hope can be accomplished.

An Everett pastor summed up the evening reminding the crowd that people who are dying on the streets here have a home.

“Their home is Everett,” he said. “What they don’t have is a house.”

That is something the people gathered at the vigil this afternoon are working to change.




About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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3 Responses to “Everett Candlelight Vigil Honors People Who Died While Experiencing Homelessness Here”

  1. Amy Anderson Says:

    As complicated as this issue is I am so angry and embarrassed that our veterans are dying homeless and in the cold. For everyone in Snohomish County who has evaded paying their taxes and this includes Boeing,to our state legislators that can’t fund human services because they have given too many tax breaks to businesses, to our president who does not make American issues his priority and spends U.S. tax dollars bringing refugees here instead of taking care of our vets Shame on all of you!!!

    • Mr Bill Says:

      Why first blame the tax payers? It’s not our fault. Our city council and voted officials have the most weigh in on issues like this. Ironically, the homeless people are the ones who aren’t paying any taxes. Why pay property tax when you can just live on the sidewalk?

      It’s a shame our veterans are dying on the streets. Besides that fact, the article doesn’t say if one overdoses on one of their favorite drugs on the street, does that count as a death attributed to homelessness?

      Also, just to be fair. Tax payers who do pay the taxes have paid enough for issues like this. One homeless man has cost the tax payers over A MILLION dollars here in our lovely hometown of Everett. That’s just one of the many. I’m tired of my dollars going to govt without any sign of improvement. The city is increasingly more and more disgusting, the laws they put in place are weak, and our officials put public safety behind threats from the ACLU. ACLU and city council can have the homeless live in their yards if they’re such loving people.

      Detroit of the PNW? I think so.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I wish I knew I would have been there! I remember a homeless man my friend 30 some years ago they called him shot gun I was in my teen’s the streets of Everett I will never forget the day I heard he passed away down on Hewitt ! I will never forget the story about his family and how much he loved them 🙂