Mission’s Longest Night giving dignity to homeless

It’s the first day of winter and the longest night of the year.

People across the country use it to remember the homeless who died.

Here in Lincoln, the People’s City Mission held its traditional ceremony.

"This is a chance to really just have the community come together and say ‘you know what?  We care.  Even when you pass away, we care,’" said the mission’s CEO Pastor Tom Barber.  "And it’s a very…critical time for the people that are at the mission to be part of…know that they’re important too."

The ceremony included a eulogy to the 11 homeless people who died in Lincoln this year and displaying their names on the mission’s memorial wall.

Barber said by paying respects to those who’ve moved on, they’re also showing those currently staying at the mission that they count for something.

"When you do events like this, it helps the community to take interest in those less fortunate," Barber said.  "It allows those less fortunate that are staying here to feel better about who they are because they see there’s folks around them that are paying tribute and they do care."

He said we’re all humans; and whether you’re rich or poor, Christmas is a time for everyone to think about each other– and that includes keeping those less fortunate in mind.