Myrtle Beach remembers 21 homeless who died in 2012

akelley@thesunnews.comDecember 27, 2012 

— More than 20 people gathered at the Community Kitchen in Myrtle Beach to remember members of the homeless community who died this year.

Samuel Johnson said one of the 21 who died this year was a good friend.

“Randy Kenneth Norman, he was a good guy,” Johnson said. “I’d known him for a long time.”

It was Johnson’s first year attending the candlelight vigil hosted by Swash Park Ministry.

Johnson said he was happy to attend, but the event was still sad.

“Any time you lose somebody like that it’s rough, you know,” he said. “They might not have a place to stay but they’re just good people trying to make it.”

Carol Stallings, with Swash Park Ministry, said the event has been run for four years.

In 2011, 23 homeless people died in Myrtle Beach. That remains the highest for all four years, with 13 deaths reported in 2010 and 18 in 2009.

The ceremony started the way it always does, with Stallings reading a poem written by a homeless woman that prompted tears by a handful of audience members.

Stallings refused to release the list naming the 21 who died.

Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381.

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