SPECIAL REPORT
Where the homeless die
“Where the homeless die” was produced in cooperation with the El Paso County Coroner’s Office and examines the date, place and manner of death of those who died while homeless. This survey of an 18-month period is believed to be the most thorough accounting ever of the death toll of homelessness in the county. Coroner Leon Kelly said these 87 episodes of destitution and tragedy represent a larger failing, but one from which we as a community can learn and perhaps better focus on those who remain on the streets.

    Over 18 months, 87 people experiencing homelessness died in dozens of places across El Paso County. 'Life and Death in the Margins' explores the barriers faced by people living without a home in Colorado Springs. (Video by Katie Klann)

    The Stories

    Death among the homeless across El Paso County is commonplace, occurring every six or seven days. Sixty-one people died while homeless at or near the time of their deaths in 2018, and 26 more died during the first half of 2019, according to the most recent data from the El Paso County Coroner’s Office.

    Collectively, the deaths provide snapshots of lives cut short by suicide, drug overdose, exposure to the elements, unexplained violence and chronic, untreated health ailments.

    Leon Kelly is El Paso County’s coroner. His mother lived homeless on and off in Indiana and died about five years ago.