The Lowcountry Homeless Coalition and One80 Place held a candlelight memorial service Thursday night in memory of nine people who died homeless in the area this year.
"It's a sad event, but it's one of hope as well," said Anthony Haro, executive director for the Lowcountry Homeless Coalition. "We want to make sure that this doesn't go forgotten and that our community can really commit to ending homelessness."
The nine homeless people were Jonathan Boone, 41; William Castleberry, 63; Walter Chapman, 64; Lynda Hill, 70; Thomas Lambrakos, 32; Levi Mack, 45; David Proudfit, 56; James Richard Sarvis, 59; and Edward Washington, 66.
Their names and ages are accurate to the best knowledge of One80 Place staff.
For the roughly 30 people who attended the vigil at Riverfront Park in North Charleston, the nine deaths are reminders that the work to end homelessness is far from over.
"Tonight we remember people who have a name, who have a story," said Stacey Denaux, CEO of One80 Place. "It takes everyone. This is our call to action to work harder."
As the Homeless Coalition and others in the social services community prepare for the annual homeless count, which will be held from Jan. 25 to Feb. 1, Haro said that work is more important than ever.
There are roughly 430 homeless individuals in the tri-county area, according to the best available data, he said.
Haro also encouraged anyone who is interested in helping out to volunteer for the count. Those interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.