Texas Homeless Network

education, resources, and advocacy

National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day
A candle

By Jennifer Z. Paulsen, Director of Development & Communications

As we near the end of 2018, THN would like to recognize those who have lost their lives over the past year while experiencing homelessness. Starting in November, each Friday THN has posted an article featuring a life lost to Facebook and Twitter. We have called it #THNFactFriday.

This Friday, December 21, is National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day. It is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year. Each year, the National Coalition for the Homeless, the National Consumer Advisory Board, and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council encourage communities to host public events to remember individuals who have died in the past year while experiencing homelessness.

If there is not an event planned in your community, please take a moment and light a candle to honor the lives lost.

Below are excerpts from 2018 news stories about some of the people who died on the streets here in Texas while experiencing homelessness. For the full story, please click on the title. Not all deaths are reported in the news and this is certainly not a comprehensive list. It is a reminder that people experiencing homelessness are vulnerable not only to the elements but to other people’s disregard for their life and situation. Each person is or was at one time someone’s child, sibling, parent and/or grandparent. It’s doubtful any of them started their life thinking they may die on the streets while experiencing homelessness.

If you work in homeless services, thank you for all you do every day to help people like those highlighted below. THN’s President/CEO, Eric Samuels, has been collecting these stories throughout the year, oftentimes sending condolences to the CoC. “Every Texan deserves dignity at the time of his or her death. Let’s work together to build systems of care that will allow for that and make homelessness rare and brief,” he said.

You don’t have to work in homeless services to help. You can help by advocating on behalf of the over 25,000 Texans experiencing homelessness. Sign up to receive news and updates. Subscribers to the State and Federal Advocacy Updates receive Information on legislation affecting homelessness programs during the Texas Legislative session and as they are introduced at the federal level.

Begin stories:

Two men found dead near homeless camps as bitter cold engulfs Houston
By Alyson Ward Updated 12:12 pm CST, Friday, January 5, 2018Two men huddled near homeless encampments on the edge of downtown Houston were found dead Tuesday in the near-record cold temperatures that have buffeted Southeast Texas.

A homeless person died in south Houston due to hypothermia and there were almost 300 car crashes
HPM DIGITAL TEAM / HPM NEWS STAFF | POSTED ON JANUARY 16, 2018, 7:52 AM Houston Fire Department chief Samuel Peña reported that a homeless person was found dead in the south part of the city, near Telephone Road, and added that the cause of death was hypothermia.

Deadly Temps: two people found dead from possible winter weather exposure
POSTED 4:57 PM, JANUARY 18, 2018, BY SHARDAE LARAE, UPDATED AT 12:36PM, JANUARY 18, 2018DALLAS — Two homeless people were found dead in Dallas after spending their Tuesday night sleeping outside.

Homeless man, 57, found dead near dumpster on Laurel Avenue in Beaumont

by KFDM/FOX 4 Thursday, January 18th 2018

BEAUMONT — A man’s body was discovered Thursday morning behind a dumpster on Laurel Avenue near the Interstate 10 access road in Beaumont.

Police identify homeless man who was found crushed at Denton dump
Written by Dana Branham, Breaking news reporter
Police have identified a man who was found crushed to death at the Denton city landfill on Monday.  

Police Say Body Found in Tree Was a Homeless Man, Suicide
Feb. 24, 2018, at 11:34 a.m.
U.S. News & World Report
TEXARKANA, TEXAS (AP) — Police say they believe a man whose badly decomposed remains were found in a tree in Texarkana may have committed suicide.

Man killed in Round Rock hit-and-run leaves grieving family, few clues
By Mike Parker
Posted Feb 28, 2018 at 12:01 AM
A man killed in a recent hit-and-run crash on Interstate 35 left behind a 2-year-old son, a grieving ex-girlfriend — and few leads on the identity of the driver who hit him.

Woman found dead in downtown parking lot identified
Victim identified as 46-year-old Tammy Fudge
By Katrina Webber – Crime Fighters Reporter
Posted: 12:49 PM, March 06, 2018
SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police have identified the woman who was found dead Sunday in a downtown parking lot as Tammy Fudge, 46.

Homicide detectives are investigating the case, which police have labeled a murder.

Authorities identify woman run over ‘number of times’ in school parking lot
John Bogard, 89, charged with murder

By Mariah Medina – Digital Journalist, Patty Santos – Reporter
Posted: 4:24 PM, May 19, 2018
A woman is dead after a man in his 80s ran her over “a number of times” following an altercation in an elementary school parking lot, police say.

Police were called to the parking lot of Walzem Elementary School Saturday afternoon for a report of shots fired.

Corpus Christi police trying to unravel clues surrounding to “Floyd’s” death
Monica Lopez and Rachel Denny Clow, Corpus Christi Published 7:56 a.m. CT May 31, 2018 | Corpus Christi police spent much of the morning investigating the man’s death. A passerby at the EZ Stop, at Leopard Street and North Brownlee Boulevard, found his body and called police about 6:30 a.m.

He was face down and bloody.

Man dies after beating at south Austin bus stop; suspect in custody
By:  Andy Jechow
Posted: Jun 19, 2018 04:15 PM CDT
AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man beaten at a south Austin bus stop Saturday evening has died.

“Mr. Kiddy is a great example of someone who the story was a lot deeper than just a homeless guy at a bus stop,” said Sunrise Homeless Navigation Center Director Mark Hilbelink.

Body found in Waller Creek in downtown Austin
By:  Kate Winkle
Posted: Jul 25, 2018 08:44 AM CDT
AUSTIN (KXAN) — A body was found in Waller Creek in downtown Austin July 25.

Officers arrived on the scene at Waller Creek and East Fifth Street near the Hilton Garden Inn around 8:22 a.m. after someone called and said someone was in the creek. Austin-Travis County EMS said they found a man in his 40s lying in the creek. He was declared dead at the scene.

Hit-and-run suspect, who allegedly looked at victim before leaving, indicted for murder
Author: Shawna Reding, Chelsea Cunningham
Published: 8:50 AM CDT August 1, 2018
AUSTIN — A grand jury has indicted a man for murder after he allegedly drove over a curb before hitting and killing a victim who was standing at a bus stop in South Austin.

Affidavit: Man found dead in Lower Valley canal was a father of 3, strangled to death

by Ashley Claster Tuesday, August 14th 2018

EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — The arrest affidavit for the man that was found dead in a canal in the Lower Valley revealed that he was homeless and he had suffered blunt force trauma, strangulation, lacerations to his face and head, and broken ribs among other injuries.

Burned Homeless Man Found Dead In South Austin Was Killed: Police
Firefighters were on unrelated incident Sunday when they spotted a fire in nearby woods, coming across murdered man’s charred remains.
By Tony Cantu, Patch Staff | Aug 28, 2018 6:24 pm ET | Updated Aug 28, 2018 6:27 pm ET

SOUTH AUSTIN, TEXAS — Police on Tuesday identified the man found burned in South Austin earlier this week in South Austin, categorizing the death as a homicide.

Police release name of homeless man whose body was found in canal off 1-10
by Quentin HopeWednesday, August 29th 2018

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 @ 8:47 am, Beaumont Police and Fire responded to the canal behind the Exxon Station at Washington and I10. A witness told the clerk there was a body floating in the canal.

Houston driver charged with murder after allegedly killing homeless woman during police chase
By Keri Blakinger Updated 5:07 pm CDT, Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Houston man fleeing from police was arrested after he allegedly ran over and killed a sleeping homeless woman early Sunday during a high-speed chase, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Suspect in beating death of homeless man arrested at his mother’s home
OCTOBER 15, 2018 10:02 AM,
FORT WORTH — A 30-year-old North Richland Hills man was in custody Monday, accused in the beating death of a homeless man who was standing near a traffic accident near a restaurant earlier this month.

Woman found dead near north Victoria parking lot (w/video)
By Jon Wilcox | jwilcox@vicad.com  Oct 15, 2018

A woman was found dead Monday afternoon in a walled dumpster storage area where friends said she was living.

Pedestrian killed in a hit-and-run on SPID and Flour Bluff Drive Witnesses on the scene were questioned while crews cleaned up the area.
Author: Adriana Gutierrez
Published: 7:17 AM CDT October 25, 2018
Corpus Christi (Kiii News) — A homeless man is dead Thursday morning about being involved in a hit and run accident that occurred on SPID and Flour Bluff Drive.

From among the least of these come great life lessons

By Candace Cooksey Fulton
Posted Nov 4, 2018 at 12:43 AM
I’d missed seeing her in the breakfast line for several Sundays. And when I stopped to think if I’d seen her walking downtown, or sitting on the bench outside Walgreens, I couldn’t remember the last time I had. But I only knew her first name, assumed she was homeless, and had no idea how I might check on her. I hoped she was OK.

Woman shot to death in tent at homeless encampment near Minute Maid Park

By Jay R. Jordan and Nicole Hensley Updated 10:59 pm CDT, Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Police are looking for a man who shot a woman point-blank in a homeless encampment tent Tuesday night across the parking lot from Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston, police said.

El Paso police say pedestrian killed in I-10 accident was hit by 2 cars — one didn’t stop

Daniel Borunda, El Paso Times Published 1:35 p.m. MT Nov. 14, 2018

El Paso police investigators are looking for one of two vehicles that struck a pedestrian who was killed while trying to cross Interstate 10 during the weekend.

Police investigating after homeless man shot and killed under bridge in N. Houston

Saturday, December 15, 2018 08:39AM

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Houston police are looking for the suspect responsible for shooting a homeless man to death beneath a bridge in north Houston.

National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day
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