Candles will be lit in memory of 11 homeless people who died this year on the streets or in local shelters at a memorial service planned for 7 p.m. Monday.
Toledo homeless advocate Ken Leslie said that too often, such deaths go unnoticed; too often. a homeless person no longer has ties to family or friends.
"I tried to look for obituaries," Mr. Leslie said.
"It's almost like the world says they never existed. We want to make sure the world knows they existed," he said.
The service, which will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, 316 Adams St., is taking place in conjunction with National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day.
The event was started in 1990 by the National Coalition for the Homeless and is held annually on the first day of winter.
Mike Stoops, the coalition's community organizer, said 125 cities held services last year and he expects events in 150 cities this year.
"It grows each and every year, and more people are doing it because of the economy," Mr. Stoops said.
"A homeless person, sometimes they can be alive and unknown, and they can die and their death will be unknown," he said.
While some "unhoused" persons, as Mr. Leslie prefers to call them, die from violence, most die from natural causes, Mr. Stoops said.
At the Toledo service, organizers also will recognize the life and work of the late Ruth Arden.
Ms. Arden, the longtime executive director of St. Paul's Community Center, died Dec. 3.
She retired in May after 34 years with St. Paul's, where she expanded the community center into a $1.2 million agency that offers transitional housing and mental-health services for the homeless and indigent.
The memorial service is open to the public and will be followed by fellowship at My Brother's Place next door to the church.
Those to be remembered at the service are April Nichole Wheeler, Jennifer Shively, James Schulte, Roy Patten, David Alley, Leon Watts, Darren Manders, H.L. Nobles, Ray Matta, John Hensley, and Justin Ashworth.
For more information, visit 1matters.org.