MEMPHIS, Tenn. — People gathered outside City Hall on Tuesday as they remembered and mourned the passing of 44-year-old Shelley Thompson, who was found frozen to death on a bench there Jan. 17.
Thompson was living at a home care facility on Lucy Avenue, when police say she left the facility after a dispute. They reported her missing after she left.
Homeless Organizing For Power and Equality organized the vigil to pay respect and remind the city that, homeless or not, Thompson was still a person. About two dozen people showed up.
Tamara Hendrix, an organizer for H.O.P.E, said she wanted to remind the city that people are people no matter their circumstance.
"We want to let the city know that Shelley, despite whether people thought that she had a mental illness or that she was at a care home, she is still a human in our eyes," Hendrix said.
Hendrix held a moment of silence and allowed others in to share their thoughts.
Hendrix said that the annual "Point in Time" survey to count the homeless in order to get federal funding is happening tomorrow.
They'll be meeting at the Salvation Army on Jackson Avenue starting at 3:30 a.m. and every two hours after that to count. She encouraged volunteers to help out.
"Homeless people are busy and often wake up early because soup kitchens open early," Hendrix said.