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Lt. Governor Joins in Commemoration of Homeless Persons' Memorial Day

Date: Thursday, December 21, 2006
Contact: Sarah Elliott 444-9725

(HELENA) As part of National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger participated in a memorial service on the steps of State Capitol today to pay tribute to the four Montanans who died while homeless in Montana in 2006.

"For most of us, the cold and dark of winter is an inconvenience. But for too many Montanans winter can be a life and death struggle," said Lt. Governor John Bohlinger. "Today we gather to commemorate those Montanans who are not fortunate enough to have a warm home to protect them from winter's chill."

The memorial service recognized the lives of Shirley Genn, Bill Remmick, Rex Keeling and Dennis Winjum all of whom died while homeless in Montana this year.

In commemoration of these individuals Governor Schweitzer also signed Executive Order 40-2006 today renewing the Montana Council on Homelessness. Co-chaired by Lt. Governor Bohlinger, the Montana Council on Homelessness is charged with working state agencies to eliminate homelessness in Montana over the next ten years.

In recent months several important steps to address homelessness in Montana have been taken. Including:

  • Making $300,000 in federal bonus funds available to the City of Billings' Mayor's Committee on Homelessness to further the city's innovative efforts to address homelessness,
  • Releasing an extensive biennial report on homelessness in Montana this January.

During a statewide survey conducted on January 31, 2006, volunteer surveyors identified surveyors identified 2,311 homeless persons throughout Montana. They ranged in age from babies to veterans of the Korean War. More than a third had been diagnosed with a disability. More than one in four had been homeless for at least a year.



Executive Order