Operation Safety Net Candlelight Vigil 2016 / by Maranie Staab

every year since 1998, on the winter solstice and the longest night of the year, Operation Safety Net (OSN) has organized a candlelight memorial service to remember those who have died while living on the streets of pittsburgh during the previous year.

this year, that night was wednesday and over 100 pittsburgh residents, service providers and homeless men and women lit candles to commemorate the lives of 11 individuals who died while living on the streets of pittsburgh in 2016. 

among the many messages delivered and reinforced through the course of the vigil was the notion, and truth, that we are all the same. we are all brothers and sisters on this planet and too often we look at the homeless as "other", or worse. as a society i would suggest that we spend a lot of time defining how we are different (race, religion, class, gender, geography ... take your pick) and that it might be more valuable if we spent a bit more time looking at how we are the same. (just my $0.02)

pittsburgh is among more than 150 US cities to take part in National Homeless Persons Memorial Day observances on the winter solstice.