Vigil remembers those that have died while living on the streets of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A vigil was held Friday to remember those that have died while living on the streets of Los Angeles.

Activists called for more to be done to end the homelessness crisis following the death of a man sleeping outside L.A. City Hall Wednesday.

Community members gathered at Echo Park. Some of the names and faces of homeless that have died were displayed on a memorial banner.

"My friend Shana was 39 when she died of heart failure in Echo Park this year. My friend Ralph was 30 when he died of health problems in the hospital just several weeks ago. That's just ridiculous," said Jed Parriott, Street Watch L.A.

The vigil was one of five held Friday in memory of 1,000 homeless people who died in L.A. this year, an average of three deaths a day.

"This is a number that keeps going up and up every year as more people become houseless. People are dying because our city and government is failing," Parriott said.

On Skid Row in Downtown L.A., a memorial turned into a rally. Dozens of people took to the streets. Advocates said the city needs to create more housing and provide more healthcare for the homeless.

"It's incredibly troubling. People are exposed to the elements all the time. They're exposed to all kinds of other crises. We don't have the services in place to put people in shelter," said Hayes Davenport, SELAH Neighborhood Homeless Coalition.

Another vigil was planned for Saturday on National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day, held annually on the longest night of the year. The vigil will be held at Holman United Methodist Church on West Adams Boulevard in Jefferson Park at 6 p.m.
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