#NoMoreDeathsOnOurStreets: Liverpool Volunteers plan memorial service for homeless man who tragically died last week
“It’s not a political statement, it’s a celebration of Simon’s life and to give him a bit of dignity and show we care.”
A memorial service will be held for a homeless Liverpool man who tragically died last week.
Simon, who was just 33, died after being taken to hospital at the end of last week.
Now a group of volunteers are planning on celebrating his life and shining a light on the issue of homelessness within the city.
The memorial, which is taking place next Wednesday, will begin with homeless outreach groups marching through the city and handing out food and clothing to people who need them.
Volunteers and the city’s homeless community will be gathering at St Luke’s Church before moving on to the doorway where Simon slept.
Poems will be read before flowers, cards and candles are laid in his memory.
Ellie Longman, who is part of a group of people helping to organise the memorial, said: “We went yesterday to put some flowers down and got speaking to other people and we thought we should do something else.
“We thought it was really important to not let his death be in vain and to raise awareness that people are dying on the streets.
“We are going to hand out soup, walk down to where he sat and then light some candles and put some flowers down.”
The volunteers, who will be collecting donations, are also planning on handing out toiletries and sleeping bags to any homeless people they come across.
Ellie said: “Homeless people need to be seen as people, not statistics. We need to look at the problem of why things are going wrong and why people are becoming homeless.
“It needs to be addressed at the route cause and not the end situation which is of course people sleeping in the doorway.
“It’s not a problem that is going to go away – it’s going to get worse. I have seen a lot more young people on the streets and a lot more women as well.
“The memorial is going to hopefully help raise some awareness about what is happening on the streets. It’s not a political statement, it’s a celebration of Simon’s life and to give him a bit of dignity and show we care.”
A spokesman from the Whitechapel centre was unable to comment on Simon in particular but told the ECHO: “We have seen an increase in the number of people coming to us and the number of people rough-sleeping.”
She said there were a range of different reasons for this, and said factors such as relationship breakdowns, addictions and economic factors can often be behind people being forced onto the streets.
A petition has also been started to ask Liverpool City Council to open empty buildings to help to house the homeless.
source: Liverpool Echo
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