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Community gathers to honor homeless who died in 2015

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Community members honored all the homeless people who died in the Duluth area this year.

CHUM's annual Christmas Eve vigil on the steps of city hall remembered the 43 people in the area who were or had been homeless or advocated for the homeless and died in 2015, the Duluth News Tribune says.

Each person – aged 25-74 – was remembered with a sign and the reading of their name, WDIO says. They lost their lives to cancer, drugs, violence and chronic illness because of lack of health care due to living in poverty, Northland's NewsCenter reports.

Organizers shared a message of hope and change for the nearly 600 homeless people in the city, reports show. CHUM also collected warm clothing, which will be donated to those in need, the group's Facebook event says.

Homelessness has been a growing problem in Duluth and other areas of Minnesota in recent years, but a report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released earlier this year shows there's an overall downward trend in Minnesota's homelessness, noting there are more than 7,500 homeless people in the state.

CHUM supplies emergency food, shelter, advocacy and outreach services to over 7,000 homeless and low-income people every year, the organization's website says.

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