What started out as a clear, warm day turned windy and brisk as the march departed the Hennepin County Government Center at 5 pm. I stopped at the Target on Nicollet Mall to purchase a pair of dry socks to finish the walk in. This was a luxury most people experiencing homelessness do not have.
It was interesting to note the reactions of bystanders on the street, most waiting for the Hollidazzle parade to begin. Several hundred silent marchers, roughly one third carrying signs with the name, age, and hometown of the person who died, led by a 10 foot puppet, do garner a fair amount of attention. Generally people stopped in silent repose. Occasionally you would get a “yes” or “something has got to be done.”
I was impressed by the large turnout of teens, many with their own handmade signs. And the site of individuals who seem to have been protesting for decades is comforting.
It was impossible not to be moved when you read of a 15 month old passing or an anonymous homeless youth from Minneapolis. There was a spirit of all these people coming together to receive comfort and strength from one another.
I look for a time when we no longer will need to do this.