SLC community holds candlelight vigil to remember homeless who have died this year

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake City's homeless resource centers partnered on a vigil Tuesday night to remember the homeless men and women who have passed away over the last year.

About 100 people gathered at Pioneer Park to light candles in their memory. Of the 80 individuals who have died, officials say half were housed in shelters and at least three were veterans.

Utah homeless advocate Pamela Atkinson said the announcement of the new sites couldn't have come at a better time.

“It’s all connected, people dying on the streets at the average of 51 because of lack of housing, as well as healthcare,” Atkinson said. “And I think with the announcement of new services, and new facilities and buildings, it’ll be conducive to healing.”

Atkinson added it's now up to the city to educate each community affected by the new sites on the benefits of the new shelters.