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St. John homeless shelter to hold memorial service for vagrant deaths

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GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A memorial service is planned in Green Bay Thursday, to remember homeless people who died on the streets.

The St. John the Evangelist homeless shelter normally holds the annual service on the shortest day of the year.

Laura Robinson is the shelter’s ministry team coordinator. She says they’ve identified five people who died in the last year while being homeless. A candle will be lit for each of those people, along with a sixth to represent those who went unidentified or unnamed.

Similar memorial services are planned in La Crosse, Racine, and Kenosha.

Robinson tells Wisconsin Public Radio that the homeless have much shorter life expectancies than others – and they’re more likely to be victims of violence.

The Green Bay Catholic Diocese oversees the shelter, which is only open during the cold weather season. Around 60 people have spent the night there this fall – and Robinson says more people are expected later in the winter at Green Bay shelters which already have waiting lists. 

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