Living on Street Takes Toll on Downtown Community

Author: Michelle Chippas

On Wednesday, December 2, 2020, two SID ambassadors, Mike and Jim, were performing their morning rounds in the Downtown. They rode to the corner of Front and Long to visit Mr. Brown, who had been sleeping outside on the street for the last few months.

Originally from Toledo, and an accomplished artist, Mr. Brown had refused help from the SID outreach team but would accept food and water from ambassadors.

When the duo spotted Mr. Brown, they noticed he was still. After calling the medics, they confirmed their belief that he had frozen to death during the cold night. This was the second death of a person living in the streets of downtown in the last 30 days.

“Mr. Brown’s death provides our team a sense of urgency and inspiration to help those still out on the street,” Mike said. “Living on the street is no way to live, and we have the resources to give help to those who will accept it.”

The Columbus Coalition for the Homeless will hold its annual Memorial Service to honor people, like Mr. Brown, who died while being homeless in 2020. The event will take place at the Social Justice Park, 404 E. Broad St., and be broadcast via Zoom.  Please check the coalition’s website for more information.

The national remembrance event is held on December 21 annually, the first day of winter, and the shortest day of the year.