The names of the dead homeless people echoed through the Civic Center as the sun set over City Hall last night.
Dozens of people with differing backgrounds and faiths came to pay their respects. Various religious leaders read more than 160 names as the Rev. Glenda Hope of San Francisco Network Ministries rang a bell after each one.
Hope started the memorial 27 years ago after hearing of homeless people freezing to death overnight.
Since then, she’s been attending and planning these memorials. She said she feels that everybody deserves a dignified farewell.
"People without homes are also part of the community," said Rebecca Swee, an intern with the San Francisco Interfaith Council. Swee believes it is time to take a stand for the homeless and serve the community.
The Rev. Lyle Beckman of the San Francisco Night Ministry helped lead the group in prayers and helped read some of the names.
At the end of the evening, the names were placed in a bowl and burned.
Beckman said he hopes for a time when these memorials won’t be necessary because people will be off the streets.