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Ralph “Halfbreed” Miller, Michael Meredith, Lisa Ersland, Deborah “Noah” Helmke, Carol Cordoba—they’re just a handful of the 22 homeless people who died this year in Boulder County from diabetes, automobiles, and heart attacks, among other causes. They will all be remembered tomorrow in a memorial service by the local homeless and those who help them, writes the Daily Camera. Such events—and others like the 25th Father Woody Christmas Party, which provided a hot meal and a gift to anyone who attended the Denver event on Sunday—highlight the ongoing needs of the poorest people living along the Front Range. As Denver’s Father John Lager tells 9News, “They’re in our homeless shelters, they’re on our street corners, they’re our neighbors. And so our hope is that people will continue to give the spirit of Christmas every day of the year.”
Meanwhile, for the first time, all seven counties in the metro-Denver area have joined forces to ensure homeless people won’t be left out on the streets, fending for themselves, during snowstorms, according to The Denver Post. While conducting the most recent homeless survey of the Denver metro area, nearly two years ago, researchers learned that nearly 1,700 people had spent the previous night, when temperatures had plunged to between three and 12 degrees, outside on the street, in a car, or in an abandoned building. Coordination between the counties should help, say officials, who point to the situation in Jefferson County as an example: JeffCo, which reported 1,242 homeless people in the 2009 survey, has just 37 shelter beds.