Harford County's observance of National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day will be held on Thursday, Dec. 19, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Frederick Ward Armory Park at 41 N. Main St. in Bel Air.

According to the Harford County Health Department, people experiencing homelessness are three to four times more likely to die prematurely than their sheltered counterparts, based on a study released by National Health Care for the Homeless Council.

In remembrance of those who have died too early as a result of their homelessness, communities across the nation have observed National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day for the past three decades.

Harford's memorial activities were initiated by Harford County's Health Care for the Homeless Project in 2007, making this the seventh year that Harford County will be participating in the national recognition of Homeless Persons Memorial Day.

The Hope in Action Ministry has joined the local homeless care provider in participating and promoting this year's event. All community members, service providers, and consumers are encouraged to attend this important gathering.

The Health Care for the Homeless program is a collaboration between Harford County Health Department and Upper Chesapeake's HealthLink Primary Care Clinic to provide medical care and case management services to homeless individuals.