OutsidersInn In The News

Ren Autrey speaks at Council for the Homeless Legislative Recap


4 30 2019 cfth legislativerecap 2

Council for Homeless to host legislative recap



The Council for the Homeless is gathering this evening to recap what legislation passed, what didn’t and how activism contributed to investments and policies around affordable housing and homeless programs.

Presenters include legislative aides from the offices of Vancouver Democrats Sen. Annette Cleveland and Rep. Monica Stonier, along with Ren Autrey, an activist with Resident Action Project. They will discuss “activism that made our wins possible and how to stay involved and active in helping achieve public policy that helps with affordable housing and homelessness in Clark County,” according to Council for the Homeless.

The event takes place 5:30 to 7 p.m. today in the community room at Vancouver Housing Authority, 2500 Main St.

People can RSVP through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/229951747873673/.

De-escalating some groups’ encounters with police focus of meeting

Suggestions offered to State Justice Training Commission ahead of I-940 implementation

Article in The Columbian

By Jack Heffernan, Columbian breaking news reporter


Bill Langfitt, whose son Billy Langfitt was shot and killed by a Pierce County sheriff’s deputy in March 2018, has called for better police training since his son’s death.

“If we’re going to encounter police officers as judge, jury and executioner, we must demand exceptionalism,” Langfitt said.

Langfitt also recognized that “the days of the ‘Andy Griffith Show,’ ” featuring an affable small-town sheriff as the lead character, are over.

“There are positive interactions with police officers, but we don’t always hear about them,” Langfitt said.

Langfitt’s comments came during a two-hour discussion Thursday night about how agencies can best train police under Initiative 940 mandates. Notes from the discussion, hosted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness and De-Escalate Washington at Bridgeview Community Center, will be presented to the state Criminal Justice Training Commission.

Two representatives from the commission, along with Vancouver police Sgt. Pat Kennedy, were some of the roughly 50 people present. Other than to answer a couple of questions, they mainly took notes and heard from representatives of various social groups.

Much of the discussion wrapped around how police can better approach different groups of people in high-stress situations.

“Different cultures express fear and anger in different ways,” said Ophelia Noble, executive director of The Noble Foundation, a social justice organization.

Braunwynn Franklin, whose family grapples with mental illness, added to that.

“It’s not just cultural competence. It’s trauma-informed training,” Franklin said.

Franklin also said certain communities speak in different tones that can be perceived as threatening. She said she has younger male nephews that are afraid to speak with police.

“Black people, we do speak loudly,” Franklin said. “They’ve been uncomfortable speaking with their hearts because they fear for their lives.”

Jovian John, representing the Chuukese community, referred to the Feb. 19 Vancouver police fatal shooting of 16-year-old Clayton Joseph. Police say Joseph was brandishing a knife at the time of the shooting.

John mentioned that in Micronesia, where Joseph was raised before moving to Vancouver, it’s not uncommon for young children to wield knives and that it’s not necessarily seen as a weapon.

“Just because the behavior is not what you’d expect because of your bias doesn’t mean it’s threatening,” John said.

Ren Autrey, director at Outsiders Inn, a Vancouver-based homeless advocacy group, mentioned that most of the interaction between homeless people and police are some version of “move along.” When police arrive, tensions are usually already escalated, she said.

Some at the meeting were parents whose children regularly encounter police due to mental illness.

Angela Daniels’ 23-year-old son, Damian Daniel Rodriguez, has schizophrenia and encountered police 40 times in the last three years. She mentioned times when officers’ presentation, like elevated voices, have triggered the disease, while other officers have spoken to him more calmly. Some, she said, have asked open-ended questions to calm him down, such as inquiring about his favorite pizza.

“It makes a world of difference the way the officers talk to them,” Daniels said.

Jerri Clark, director of Mothers of the Mentally Ill, had a son, Calvin, diagnosed with bipolar I disorder. Roughly two years ago, Calvin, 21 at the time, miraculously survived after jumping from the Interstate 5 Bridge into the Columbia River. Calvin did, however, die by suicide March 18, Clark said.

While not referring specifically to either incident, Clark agreed that dialogue is crucial.

“Certain individuals who may have developmental or intellectual disabilities may have no idea what you’re asking them to do,” Clark said.

While the training commission and social justice groups were on opposing sides before I-940 passed, they’re currently engaged in a productive conversation, said Monisha Harrell, board chair of Equal Rights Washington.

“This will not be our last conversation,” Harrell said. “Progress is just that. It’s progress, and we don’t expect to get everything in the go-round.”

Vancouver police chief faces heat at neighborhood alliance meeting

Previously scheduled meeting comes after four police shootings in recent weeks

Ren Autrey asks at neighborhood 3 13 2019

Article in The Columbian

By Jack Heffernan, Columbian breaking news reporter


After offering department staffing updates, Vancouver Police Chief James McElvain asked if anyone had staffing-related questions. Mark Moors, however, asked what the typical timeline is for officers involved in a shooting to return to work.

“So, I guess we’re going to go in this direction sooner than I thought,” McElvain said, prompting tenuous laughs.

From there, McElvain faced a number of questions, contention and a few shouts.

The meeting Wednesday night, one of several this year scheduled months ago by the Vancouver Neighborhood Alliance at Fisher’s Landing Fire Station 9, comes after four officer-involved shootings by the department in recent weeks.

Port of Vancouver Commissioner Eric LaBrant said the number of shootings “feels unusual” and asked if the chief plans on making changes moving forward.

“Four incidents in such a short period of time is unusual for a department of our size, for Vancouver, it is,” McElvain said. “But if you go back to, I want to say 2014, we had six officer-involved shootings in that one year. But we don’t remember that because they were, for the most part, you know, spread out.”

Others challenged the police chief, asking him to answer questions more directly, or verbally disagreed with his responses.

A number of people raised the question of whether officers should wear body cameras.

Meridian Green specifically asked if officers who were involved in previous shootings should be mandated to wear them. As the chief responded by saying that blaming the officers would be a jump to conclusions, Ren Autry, director at Outsiders Inn, a Vancouver-based homeless advocacy group, interjected.

“Three strikes you’re out as a criminal,” Autry said.

“OK, so if you’re going to ask a question, I get an opportunity to respond,” McElvain replied.

Later, McElvain discussed how he plans to soon release information about officer training to the public when he was interrupted again.

“You play judge, jury and executioner,” said Anthony, who declined to offer his last name but said he was with Vancouver Democratic Socialists of America. “You ignore the Fourth Amendment right.”

Mary Elkin, the neighborhood alliance’s chair, paused the discussion.

“Excuse me,” Elkin said. “We will respect everybody in this building.”

“My people are dying!” Anthony shouted. “There is no room for decorum.”

Some in attendance offered supportive comments to McElvain and the department.

Judy George told the audience that if an active shooter entered a mall, she would support an officer using deadly force.

McElvain offered some statistics about the department’s use of force and sprinkled in a few jokes to lighten the mood. But the tension lingered.

“The community of color right now is hurting,” said Ophelia Noble, executive director of The Noble Foundation, a social justice organization. “There’s something going on, and we want to know what it is and how to interact with a system that is not showing our community the humanity that we deserve.”

Ophelia Noble at Neighborhood meeting 3 13 2019


No review of VPD use-of-force policies planned

Vancouver police chief says policies in line with statewide public safety standards

VPD speaks at neighborhood 3 13 2019

Article in The Columbian

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Assistant Metro Editor


Despite a spate of officer-involved shootings over the last month, Vancouver’s police chief says he’s confident the department’s policies are in line with statewide public safety standards and that his officers are following best practices.

Since Feb. 5, the Vancouver Police Department has been involved in four officer-involved shootings — three of them fatal. The recent shootings appear to be the most in one year for the police agency over the last 25 years, a Columbian analysis found.

“I think, for a department of our size, it is a little unusual to have so many back-to-back. I think it is outside the norm,” Vancouver Police Chief James McElvain said in a phone interview Wednesday. “What my experience has told me is, really the only consistency I see, is the behavior of the citizen involved has (caused) this incident to occur. It’s not usual for officers to need to use lethal force when people are cooperative.”

A Columbian analysis of local law enforcement policies on use of force, specifically lethal force, found that the Vancouver Police Department’s policies largely mirror those of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Camas and Battle Ground police departments.

In a nutshell, all of the policies say deadly force is necessary when officers need to protect themselves or others from threat of death or serious injury. Deadly force is also permissible to prevent the escape of a fleeing violent felon when there’s probable cause to believe the felon has threatened serious harm or death, or if they are not apprehended poses the threat of harm to officers or others.

Each policy speaks to the reasonableness of the amount of force used, based on the totality of the circumstances known to the officer at the time.

“We’re pretty confident that our policy is up to date. We are looking at our policy on a regular basis,” McElvain said. “Are we specifically going to pull out our policy because we’ve had a couple of officer-involved shootings? Not necessarily.”

Open dialogue

Some community members, however, are questioning the department’s policies and calling for officers to wear body cameras. An online petition for body-worn cameras is circulating on Facebook.

Adam Kravitz, founder of Vancouver-based homeless advocacy organization Outsiders Inn, says he’s been vocal about the recent police shootings and in sharing the online petition. He said a number of local organizations have joined forces to begin an open dialogue with the police department.

“Basically, it feels like our voices are not being heard and that we need to do more and more and raise our voices even more. … They are about public safety; there’s a large portion of our community that doesn’t feel safe calling the police,” he said.

Kravitz also expressed concerns following other media reports quoting McElvain as saying the department plans to “stay the course.”

“It’s the police department’s responsibility to hear the public’s concerns, and what I heard from the top official in an interview the other day is that he’s not concerned with what we’re saying,” Kravitz said.

McElvain told The Columbian his comments were taken out of context. His department is in the process of getting its entire policy manual online for the public to view, he said.

“I’m one that really believes that we work for the benefit of our community. With that said, how closely can we be in step with what our community desires from its police department? As you become a much larger and diverse community, how do you come to a consensus on what the community wants?” McElvain said. “Law enforcement is tasked with looking at what are the best practices for our profession — part of it is maintaining a good relationship and communication with the community.”

As for body-worn cameras, McElvain said he’s not opposed to the idea; “it’s a technology that is continuing to expand in the policing profession.”

However, he said, body-worn cameras are expensive, particularly in maintaining data, and time consuming in terms of public disclosure requests and establishing the right policies. There are also privacy issues, McElvain said. For instance, officers need to be mindful of the people captured on the recording, he said, especially when investigating a domestic violence case or sexual assault.

“It’s super easy to say, as a philosophy, we should all wear body-worn cameras, but with that, comes a great deal of expense and policy implications,” he said.

This isn’t the first time a conversation about body-worn cameras has come up, McElvain said, adding that it’s been on his to-do list.

“I think we’ll get there at one point, but it’s not a decision you make a knee-jerk reaction to,” he said.

If there was a tremendous push from the community for police to have body-worn cameras, McElvain said, he would explore that option and put together a brief of what it would entail.

Outsiders Inn, with other concerned parties, plans to draft a formal statement over the next month to present to the Vancouver City Council.

“We’re going to try from the top down and work from that direction,” Kravitz said.

In a prepared statement from the city, in which Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle, City Manager Eric Holmes and McElvain are quoted, Holmes said the city is open to hearing community feedback.

“We are saddened by these recent tragedies, and the city is committed to listening to our community’s voices and concerns. I understand there are many questions surrounding these incidents, but it is vital that we exercise patience while waiting for the investigations to be completed. We will communicate information when it becomes available,” Holmes said.

Holmes told The Columbian in an interview that he believes “Chief McElvain is providing the right leadership and steady hand and emphasis on training, transparency and cooperation in the investigations.”

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Family: Man shot, killed by Vancouver police had schizophrenia

Michael Eugene Pierce, 29, was homeless, family says

Columbian photo AmandaCowen MichaelP Vigil

Article in The Columbian

By Jerzy Shedlock, Columbian Breaking News Reporter


The man fatally shot by Vancouver police late Thursday afternoon, after reportedly brandishing two firearms, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia as a teenager but had stopped taking his prescribed medication, according to family members.

Family identified the man as 29-year-old Michael Eugene Pierce, who was born in Oklahoma but had been living in Washington for the past decade.

Pierce’s aunt Beth Brittain said Friday that he had stopped taking his medication a couple years back because he said it made him “feel like a zombie.” He once told his mother he heard voices telling him to kill himself, Brittain said.

Officers were called about 4:45 p.m. Thursday for a report of an armed person near West 12th and Jefferson streets west of downtown Vancouver. Shortly after, officers yelled that shots had been fired and said the man was down, with a firearm by his feet, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian.

“Multiple callers called in saying a man was waving his guns and pointing them at people,” Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp said.

Two officers fired their weapons; neither was injured. The officers have been placed on critical incident leave, standard department protocol in an officer-involved shooting. They likely will not be identified until Monday, Kapp said.

Joe Newsome, who witnessed the shooting, said he had just gotten off work in the area and was walking home when he saw a man holding a gun, screaming at passing vehicles. The man was waving the firearm, Newsome said, and pointing it at his own head. Other witnesses said the man had two firearms.

About 30 people gathered Friday night at the site where Pierce died for a candlelight vigil. Spray-painted epitaphs covered the street: “You are loved.” “Michael RIP.” “Love you.”

Kyla Houchens was a close friend of Pierce’s, she said. He called her “mom,” and the two spent hours together at the recently-opened Vancouver Navigation Center on Grand Boulevard.

Houchens and others at the vigil said Pierce’s guns were brightly colored pellet guns; he treated them as toys. When he put the guns to his head, it was a call for help, she said.

“Today is a commemoration of Michael’s life, and a day of accountability for everyone else,” Houchens said.

A home in Vancouver

Pierce was born in Sapulpa, Okla., and spent his formative years in Seminole, Okla., where he attended school. He was the second youngest among four siblings — three brothers and a sister, Brittain said.

Pierce left home when he was 18 or 19 years old. He hitchhiked across the country and settled in Washington. His family is unsure what led him to Vancouver.

Pierce’s mother, according to Brittain, had him evaluated when he was 7 years old due to odd behaviors, which included harming himself. Doctors put Pierce on Ritalin, and despite his mental health issues, Pierce had a fair upbringing, according to his aunt.

“He was the sweetest little boy,” Brittain said.

In 2008, Pierce’s older brother John went missing in Idaho. Authorities found his foot in a boot, but the family never learned what truly happened. Brittain said she believes the traumatic event is part of the reason Pierce started wandering.

The family was unfamiliar with his current living situation, she said. Pierce would show up sporadically. He would sometimes call from the bus stop in Seminole and ask his mom for a ride.

Joan Wickenhagen, the grandmother of Pierce’s 5-year-old daughter, said Pierce was homeless and had been couch surfing for the past several years, after a conviction that resulted in jail time. He would infrequently visit Wickenhagen’s Vancouver home, she said, to visit his daughter and her mother, Mollie Wickenhagen.

“He didn’t come around a lot,” the elder Wickenhagen said. “He tried to be good. He loved all of us, especially (his daughter).”

Mollie Wickenhagen remembered the father of her child as a “different sort,” a book nerd who loved to fix things. He struggled, she said, and could be “irrational” and “all over the place.” But he had a good heart, she said, and love for his daughter and the family he had built in Vancouver.

“He always found home here,” she said.

Run-ins with the law

Joan Wickenhagen said Pierce had run-ins with police, but they were all nonviolent. According to Kapp, responding officers at the time of Thursday’s call did not know Pierce’s identity or his criminal history.

Court records show that Pierce’s felony criminal history in Clark County began in July 2015.

A Vancouver police officer was called to the Hough neighborhood for a report of three men possibly using drugs, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Clark County Superior Court. The officer came upon the men sitting around a bong. Pierce was arrested for criminal impersonation for giving a brother’s name and for a felony arrest warrant out of Texas that’s not detailed in local court documents. He was listed as transient during the time of his arrest.

He spent about a month in jail, and his right to possess firearms was taken away as a result of the conviction.

His next arrest was more than two years later. In late November 2017, a Vancouver police officer recognized Pierce, who was sitting on a bench in the area of Evergreen Boulevard and Z Street. Pierce was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant for “displaying (a) weapon” in a October 2016 case, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Once Pierce was handcuffed, the officer found a glass pipe with residue that tested positive for methamphetamine. He ended up in jail for another month on a drug conviction, court records show.

Two similar arrests happened last year. A Vancouver police officer responded in April to 100 W. 11th St. for an illegal camper. Pierce gave the officer a fake name, and when he was taken into custody, the officer found a meth pipe among Pierce’s belongings, according to court records. Then, in December, Vancouver bicycle officers came upon a homeless camp at East Seventh and C streets. Pierce was spotted exiting a tent; he refused to give his name and again used a brother’s name. He had a hypodermic needle that tested positive for meth. Pierce was exonerated of two charges three days later; more investigation was necessary, court documents show.

He was also picked up at least twice in January, court documents show. A jail pre-booking sheet filed Jan. 5 says Pierce did not answer a corrections officer when asked if he showed any signs of suicidal behavior or attempts.

On his visits home in Oklahoma, Pierce would not share much about his troubles. Brittain said the family was suspicious about Pierce using drugs, but they never confirmed it.

“When he was around, he was good. He had his problems, but no one is perfect … He would never hurt anybody but himself.”

‘Catalyst for change’

Joan Wickenhagen said Pierce appeared depressed over the past couple of years.

“He had mentioned at one point that someone suggested he go see a counselor,” she said. “He had a big heart. He wasn’t always around the best people.”

Adam Kravitz last saw Pierce about a month ago. Pierce had just gotten a haircut and was feeling positive, he said. Kravitz, the founder of Vancouver-based homeless advocacy organization Outsiders Inn, was driving Pierce and a few others to Share House. The men were boasting about the day and their plans for dinner.

Kravitz had been supporting Pierce over the years, with favors such as rides, and got to know him well, he said.

“He was just a good guy … I’m not sure what was going on recently. It may have been his struggles got to him; he just wasn’t where he wanted to be,” Kravitz said.

The homeless community is devastated about the shooting. They have questions about what happened, and concerns about whether enough was done to de-escalate the situation, Kravitz said.

Ren Autrey, Kravitz’s partner at Outsiders Inn, said the group plans to testify before Vancouver City Council about the police department’s de-escalation policies and training. She hopes that Pierce’s death can be used as “a catalyst for change.”

“Do the police go and talk you off the bridge?” Autrey asked. “Or do they push you off?”

Columbian reporter Katie Gillespie contributed to this report.




Memorial Service for the Homeless 2018


It was a beautiful gathreing of people on the longest night of the year for an outdoor candlelight service to remember & honor our unhoused neighbors who have died this year.


Article in the Columbian:

By Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith


On the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, a crowd gathered outside St. Paul Lutheran Church in Vancouver to remember homeless people who died this year.

During Friday night’s annual vigil, nearly two dozen people with local connections were recognized through song, prayer, poems and calls for action. Similar services took place around the country on what can be a particularly cold night. Friday’s low temperature was around 35 degrees in Vancouver, according to the National Weather Service.

As an employee of Council for the Homeless, Caroline Lopez said she gets to know people who are searching for housing; one of those people was Chris Breitenbach, who died this summer.

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“He was just so sweet. When I think of him all I can remember is love,” Lopez said to the crowd gathered in front of St. Paul’s steps. The church hosts a winter shelter for men. “All he wanted … was to be with his son, to be housed with his son.”

The mother of Breitenbach’s son, Denice Christie, also died this year.

Lopez offered a Buddhist prayer about compassion and led the group through a meditation.

“We’re here tonight to remember people — brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters — lost from our community in the past year,” said City Councilor Ty Stober.

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He said Vancouver has dedicated employees who work tirelessly to build trust with homeless people, but he said he was embarrassed about information revealed in Friday’s Columbian article that showed stricter enforcement of the city’s camping and public storage ordinances.

“As a council we’ve attempted to exhibit respect for all residents no matter their income bracket or housing status,” he said. “While our laws are strict, our directive to staff has been to approach everyone with compassion and empathy.”

He said that hasn’t happened in the last few weeks and he’s working to correct conditions. He acknowledged the recent opening of the Vancouver Navigation Center, where people can come in out of the elements and take care of their needs during the day, as well as the opening of housing projects such as Meriwether Place and the upcoming Bridgeview Resource Center.

Stober choked up as he said: “If you live outside I want you to know I see you, I hear you and I will use my power so others will see and hear you as well. My blessing for everyone tonight is that we may all feel some measure of love and we may all feel some worth and we may all feel some hope.”

Homeless advocate and founder of Outsiders Inn, Adam Kravitz, said he knew nine people whose names were said at the vigil. He said he was thinking of the possible names that could be recited at next year’s vigil, people who may never be housed for whatever reason, whether due to mental health, addiction or not finding success in the system.

“I don’t want to know that I knew this was going to happen. I don’t want to stand by and go ‘I knew I was going to be talking about this person,'” Kravitz said.

He said he would like to see a more trauma-informed approached when it comes to housing people who have issues with mental health and addiction, as well as an end to division and hate. The Columbian article “shows how deep the injustice goes,” Kravitz said.

“They have no bathroom, they have no water, they have no warmth, and there are jokes about hunting them. That should make you enraged,” Kravitz said. “Stand up and say ‘no more.'”

The vigil closed with the crowd singing “Amazing Grace.”

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Memorial Service for the Homeless at St. Paul Lutheran Church

17 in ’17: Service pays tribute to county’s homeless who died

HomelessMemorialService2017 image columbian 1


By Andy Matarrese, Columbian Breaking News Reporter


Vancouver City Council Member Ty Stober addressed the crowd gathered at the steps of St. Paul Lutheran Church Thursday night, and said something that came to him while he was thinking for what to share with the other mourners was the idea of stories.

The crowd held candles, sang and mourned together Thursday night to honor the estimated 17 people, according to organizers, who died while homeless in Clark County in the past year.

Stober said someone recently told him “those people” who hang around or use the Share House, a homeless shelter downtown, don’t contribute to the community. The notion broke his heart, he said.

“You think about the butterfly effect,” he said, the idea that small causes can have larger effects, or a butterfly’s flapping wings can lead to a tornado on the other side of the world.

Last year, when people gathered to mourn the previous year’s unsheltered dead, they didn’t know Ronald Heubner, who was homeless, would, the very next day, no longer be with them, Stober said.

They didn’t know Sungok Park, who had just found housing in time to be diagnosed with cancer, would die a few days later. Nor did anyone think they’d be without all the other names on the list, each one someone’s friend or family member.

“Each and every one of us has a story and each and every one of us has an impact on the world around us,” Stober said. “They were all butterflies. They all flapped their wings, they all made tornadoes happen in other parts of the world. So let’s remember that tonight.”

Adam Kravitz, another advocate, founded Outsiders Inn, a Vancouver-based homeless advocacy and services organization.

He said he started speaking up for homeless people while he, too was homeless. His logic, he said, was someone had to speak up for these people, and for this year’s vigil, he thought it would be appropriate to share some stories from those still outside and struggling.

“It is really about stories,” he said. “It is really about each individual. It is really about looking people in the eye and smiling and giving them hope.”

He shared what people told him:

• ” ‘Stop looking at me, and look at me like this,’ and he smiled.”

• ” ‘We’re humans, not homeless.’ ”

• ” ‘The numbers have grown and nothing has changed.’ That was repeated about 15 times.”

• ” ‘There is no magic pill, even if you do everything right, and follow every step in the book, it’s still hurry up and wait. You have no choice. You have to camp. But who can camp at night and work by day with laws so strict that you lose what little scraps you have saved. Oh that’s right, pretty much no one can do it, at all. So it feels like a lie, no one will treat you with respect, even when you do everything right.’ ”

• ” ‘You never even talk to me, not one time. Everybody thinks you know me. That’s bull crap.’ ”

• ” ‘Someone spat on me, and then someone else gave me a leather jacket, all in the same five minutes. I can’t stand this world.’ ”

These people deal with traumatic living situations daily, Kravitz said, and he praised the efforts of every volunteer and service group trying to help, saying it truly has saved lives.

Still, he said, again, the numbers are growing and little is changing.

Tom Iberle, executive director at the Friends of the Carpenter social services nonprofit, read aloud the names this year.

The honored this year included Heubner, Park, Roger S. Wilson, Jake Talley, Richard Waller, Joey Sigman, Dennis Lynch, Kevin Lisman, Raymond Bartley, Matt Solop, James Martin, Randy LeRoy, Michael Holmes, Roberty Sargent, Daniel L. Smith, Eric Studer and one unidentified man.

“In many cases, this service will be the only commemoration of their lives,” Iberle said.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly listed where Outsiders Inn is based. The homeless advocacy group was founded and operates in Vancouver.