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Memorial for homeless who have died
Homeless Coalition 009
During a memorial at Bradwell Park, members of the Liberty County Homeless Coalition light candles in memory of the 63 homeless people in Georgia known to have died in 2016. Among them were seven veterans. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon

On the longest night of the year, and one of the coldest, local residents banded together at Bradwell Park to pay their respects to those less fortunate.

The Liberty County Homeless Coalition held a memorial to remember the homeless across the state who lost their lives due to the rigorous conditions of living outdoors.

The Rev. Jim McIntosh said 63 homeless died in 2016. Of those, seven were veterans.

The Rev. Katrina E. Deason opened the vigil with a prayer. Jodee Adams read the names of each person who passed as a small crowd huddled together holding candles with their heads bowed in prayer.

Liberty County Commission Chairman Donald Lovette and City of Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown laid a remembrance wreath at the foot of the Christmas tree at Bradwell Park.

Brown later said he was committed to helping the homeless in the city and praised the work done by the Coalition and local charitable organizations in feeding and clothing those in need.

McIntosh recognized volunteer Karen Carter.

Carter was able to secure blankets that the coalition could hand out to those in need. A teary Carter said she felt compelled to do what she could, recalling the times she and her family went homeless for a brief period of her childhood.

McIntosh presented flowers and a gift to her.

The group sang, said prayers and distributed the blankets.

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