Memorial and Vigil Planned for Homeless Dead

8 years 2 weeks 5 days ago Friday, October 29 2010 Oct 29, 2010 Friday, October 29, 2010 9:48:09 PM CDT October 29, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - A vigil was held Thursday night at Wilkes Boulevard United Methodist Church to remember those who have died homeless.

The vigil followed a memorial service for homicide victim Jerry Schneider, who was found last weekend at a homeless camp.

Columbia police say they are investigating Schneider's death as a homicide.

More than 50 people filled the seats of the church to show their support.

One of them was Schneider's close friend Tammy Crow.

"It's pretty emotional. Jerry was just a nice guy and he didn't deserve what happened to him," said Crow.

She was glad that the church was able to remember him with a memorial service and a vigil.

"When people are homeless, they are forgotten, and nobody realizes what they go through.

Without them, there wouldn't have been any services for Jerry," added Crow.

Pastor Meg Hegemann says hosting the ceremony was just the right thing to do.

"It is in times of crisis when people connect most to one another, and that's when we can move forward in a positive way," said Hegemann.

Although there were only a couple of pictures of Schneider on display at the service, his memories will never be lost with his friends and family.

"He used to live across the street from me in a small trailer, and he would come over and visit me and my kids," said Crow.

The names of 13 other homeless individuals who have passed in the last 12 years also had their names read during the vigil.

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