Memorial service for Tucson's homelessPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- They're men, women, and children who died homeless or without enough money for a proper funeral.
This year about 200 people were buried in a county cemetery plot. Monday the community paid their respects.
Some of them have names, some do not.
"We need to remember each of us has a story and that person sitting on the bench has a story," said Peggy Hutchison.
Peggy Hutchison with the Primavera Foundation helps the community pay tribute to victims of homelessness with a special memorial service.
"They could have been an academic professor, they could have been a veteran, they could have been a mother, a daughter a sister, we don't know their story and I think we want to remember them compassionately," said Hutchison.
Her message of kinship rings true for Patty Valera.
"When my dad was living on the streets we asked him if he needed help and he said no," said Valera.
Valera says her father had fallen on hard times but claimed to have everything under control.
Then one day a violent attack on the streets landed him in the hospital, fighting for his life.
"He was found unconscious by a neighbor where he was hanging out and the doctor told us that his injuries were man made," Valera said.
Valera's father later died. She says the community needs to rally around those in need, because it means the difference between life and death.
"That person who is living on the streets asking for money, they went through a process, a painful process to start living on the streets and it's not easy," said Valera.
One reports shows more than 6,000 people in Pima County are without a home.