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Longmont to Host Memorial for Lost Members of the Homeless Community

December 15, 2018
A circle of people listen to a choir and the names being read of the people lost in 2017 during the annual Boulder Memorial for the Homeless held last December at the Central Park bandshell.

With eight homeless people from the Longmont community having died this year, Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement will host the city’s first Homeless Person’s Memorial on Monday at The Journey Church on 2000 Pike Road .

“These individuals are not forgotten,” Alice Sueltenfuss , HOPE’s navigation services director and the event organizer , said. “They have left lasting memories with us and deserve to be remembered.”

While Boulder holds an annual homeless memorial in December, HOPE felt it was important that the city have its own chance to grieve and remember those who passed away this year.

As part of a push by the National Coalition for the Homeless, the National Consumer Advisory Board and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, memorials will be held elsewhere on Friday, the shortest day of the year, to remind people just how difficult life on the streets can be and to encourage them to help in any way possible.

Those being remembered on Monday are Jim Arnold , Nicole Dust , Katherine Rogers , Ben Fueston , Gordon Kolisnyk , Glenn Tefft , Dominic Peterson , and Brent Gruis .

While the Times-Call couldn’tlocate information on each person, Sueltenfuss and the rest of the HOPE staff provided brief biographies for those the staff knew best.

Arnold was known by his friends as ‘Cowboy.’ He died a few months after realizing his dream of having his own apartment with his girlfriendand having a Thanksgiving meal in their very own place. Arnold was quiet but known for helping others experiencing homelessness.

Dust came to HOPE by way of coordinated entry last November 2017. A tiny lady; she made friends easily. She enjoyed her friends and was most content sitting and talking to groups of new friends.

Rogers arrived in Colorado with her adult son in the fall of 2017. They stayed at the HOPE shelter and were very helpful. Just this year, she came to the HOPE warehouse and assisted with organizing donations. She was always friendly and offered a broad smile.

Kolisnyk became a client of HOPE in November 2017 and was an immediate charmer. With a big grin and a fondness for stories and jokes, Gordon made an impression on everyone he met. At the shelter, Gordon could be seen cleaning everything. Anything he could do, to do what he called his part, he would do.

Peterson, known as “Dom,” was loved by all he knew, including the HOPE staff, for many years. In times past, he would ride up to the HOPE van on his bicycle with Rosco, his pup in the back carrier. They happily rode all over town. Peterson worked in Longmont and helped his friends to gain employment. He had many friends in town.

Gruis was known as a gentle giant. He came to Longmont after a successful work history, but the experience of being a U.S. Marine took its toll and he began receiving services either on the street from HOPE’s street outreach or from the shelter beginning January 2017.

John Spina: 303-473-1389, jspina@times-call.com or twitter.com/jsspina24

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