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Brussels commemorates deceased homeless people
The Brussels collective Morts de la Rue/Straatdoden this morning held a memorial service at City Hall to commemorate the 72 homeless people who died last year in the Brussels-Capital Region, a number that has tripled in the past 12 years, reports De Morgen.
Three members of the Brussels Poetry Collective read aloud from their new "Litany for 72 deceased street dwellers of Brussels" during the annual commemoration ceremony.
"The number of deaths that we commemorate increases year by year. Of course, that is partially due to the expansion and better organisation of our network," says Bert De Bock of the collective in the newspaper. But the problem remains, he says. In 2005, there were 23 deceased on Brussels' streets, compared to 55 in 2015 and 72 last year.
Among the 72 deceased were 70 men and two women, with an average age of 51.76 years. All of the deceased lived on the streets, and 40 of them were in fact homeless. While 17 people were found dead in public spaces, others passed away in the metro, a homeless shelter or a hospital.
Nearly half of the deceased homeless people (43%) were of Belgian nationality, followed by Polish nationals (27.7%).