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In this file photo, Lt. Alan Lynn of the Albany Police Department and 11 other volunteers hold candles in memory of homeless people and a benefactor of the homeless who died in 2015, during the seventh Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service at Albany City Hall.

The public is invited to join Albany's eighth observance of national Homeless Persons' Memorial Day, set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21.

The event will be held at the Albany City Hall Plaza, 333 Broadalbin St. S.W.

Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day is a national observance. It is meant to be an opportunity to remember the people who have died on Albany streets, in abandoned properties or open places from illnesses or conditions directly related to homelessness. 

Albany's memorial will include a proclamation by Mayor Sharon Konopa, the reading of names, and lighting candles for those who have died in Albany and other Linn County communities in 2016, and words of remembrance. American Legion Post 10 will honor homeless veterans.

Nine people are on this year's list: John Kevin Bradford, 61; Jason Schneider, 45; Robert Tuttle, 59; Jacquie (Jacob) Casper, 39; Carrie Dodson-Pugh, 52; Richard Salisbury, 58; Corey Alan Nordman, 27; John Rocky Conser II, 43; and Jeffrey Pearson, date of birth unknown.

Chaplain Wes Sedlacek of Samaritan Health Services will speak. Music will be provided by Praise in 3D.

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The observance is sponsored by the Homeless Enrichment and Rehabilitation Team, known for short as HEART.

Attendees are encouraged to donate blankets, rain gear, socks, thermal underwear, stocking caps, gloves, hooded sweatshirts, and gently used coats, which will be collected on site for Albany Helping Hands, Signs of Victory and Jackson Street Youth Shelter guests.

Cash donations will be accepted to support Toto, a fund that provides transportation resources for individuals or families who become stuck in Albany but have support in other communities.

The national observance has been held annually since 1990 on or near the first day of winter, the longest night of the year.

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