Celebration of Life honors Pueblo homeless community who've died

Celebration of Life to honor Pueblo homeless community who've died
Posted at 5:27 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 20:17:14-04

PUEBLO — Tuesday was a day of remembrance for the local homeless population in Pueblo who've died in the past two years. A celebration of life memorial was held at the Pueblo River walk, a ceremony that's been happening annually since 2004.

Music was played, doves were released, and the names of 20 homeless neighbors who've died were read.

"Truly every life deserves to be celebrated, and every life deserves dignity in life and in death," said Zolanye McCulley-Bachicha, the District 4 Council Woman in Pueblo.

For her, going to the homeless memorial is a tradition she's been a part of since she was a kid.

"As a little girl, this memorial would actually end up on my birthday every year, and so this is where I would celebrate my birthdays," said McCulley-Bachicha. "Instead of having anything extravagant, I was here celebrating lives that matter, that didn't get to be celebrated at the moment."

For Latanya Yarbrough, who works for POSADA of Pueblo, an organization which provides resources to the homeless, this ceremony is something she wants to do for her clients.

"This has always been something that I felt like I wanted to do for my clients, because when my clients pass away, some of them don't get any type of recognition, so I wanted to always remember them," said Yarbrough.

Throughout the year, Yarbrough collects the names of those who died while living on the streets, and she adds them to the list she brings to the memorial so the community can remember them. The names come from clients, and other organizations like the Pueblo Rescue Mission and Pueblo Community Health Center.

"Most people don't understand that this is a society, this is a life that they live and they take care of one another. They come to us, they make sure they take care of us, so we care about them too,"
said Yarbrough.

Two of the names that were read were U.S. veterans.