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A Record Number of Homeless People Died This Year in Cleveland

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KEVIN NIEDERMIER
/
WKSU
Homeless and homeless advocates gather at the West Side Catholic Center to remember homeless people who died this year in Cleveland

Today is Homeless Memorial Day, a national event commemorating the lives lost during the past year. At a homeless center near downtown Cleveland, friends and supporters gathered to remember the record number of homeless who died in the city.

Among those attending the ceremony was 67 year old Nancy Ward who says she’s been homeless for several years following a serious health problem. One of those being memorialized was her roommate at a shelter.

“She drowned. They’d been out drinking and decided to jump in the lake and she couldn’t swim. That’s probably how drunk she was. It was at nighttime, late at night. You know, bad decisions, bad choices cost her life.”

Homeless advocates in Cleveland say this year’s record number of deaths is due to the growing number of opiate overdoses.