Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The annual Missoula Homeless Persons Memorial will be held at the Missoula County Courthouse on December 21, traditionally the coldest day of the year.

KGVO News spoke to Emily Armstrong, Houselessness Program Manager for the City of Missoula about the annual event.

This Annual Event for the Public will be at the Courthouse on December 21

“This is an event that we organize along with our community partners every year as an opportunity to really recognize our neighbors who have passed in the last year and take some time to honor their honor them and honor their memory alongside folks in the community and really just recognize them as a neighbor,” began Armstrong. “It's specifically honoring folks who are unhoused and have passed away.”

Armstrong said Missoula is one of many communities across the nation that commemorates the deaths of those who have been unhoused throughout the year.

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The Event Traditionally Falls on the Coldest Day of the Year

“This happens across the country, so it's kind of this collective acknowledgment on the longest and often coldest day of the year,” she said. “Missoula has been participating in hosting our own events for a number of years now, and the events have kind of morphed over the many years but generally they have stayed consistent in some ways in that we read the names of all the neighbors who have passed in the last year and take some time to just have silence as we honor them and just come together to remember their memories and everything that they did for our community.”

There will be two ceremonies on December 21, one for the general public and the other a private ceremony for the houseless community.

The Private Event will be at the Johnson Street Emergency Shelter

“The first is outside the courthouse at 5:30 p.m., and that event is open to the public and it's open to the press,” she said. “Then there's more of a private event that will take place at the Johnson Street Temporary Emergency Shelter at 7:00 p.m. That, again, is more private. It's meant for members or guests who are utilizing the shelter and then friends and the public who know those who have passed. We asked the press not to go to that event so that it can be a little bit more private and intimate.”

KGVO News will honor that request to refrain from covering the private ceremony.

Inside Look at the New TSOS Shelters

The Temporary Safe Outdoor Space new hard-sided shelter facility officially opened on Thursday, January 5. The TSOS is just off West Broadway near the new Trinity affordable housing complex.

Gallery Credit: Nick Chrestenson

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