An annual nationwide gathering to honor the homeless will take place in Knoxville this evening.
The 5th Annual Knoxville Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day is a public gathering, honoring homeless and formerly homeless Knoxvillians who died in 2013.
In 1990, the National Coalition for the Homeless began National Homeless Persons Memorial Day, which is now commemorated across the county. In 2009, then-Knoxville-Mayor Bill Haslam officially recognized the day by proclamation in Knoxville.
Studies of homelessness in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia show a connection between lack of housing and increased mortality rates and find that homeless persons are 3 to 4 times more likely to die than the general population. Life-expectancy for the homeless averages about 50 years of age.