SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) A somber memorial service Tuesday at The INN Between, a facility in Salt Lake City where terminally ill homeless people can go to die with dignity. 62 year old Candace Cowles passed away after a battle with cancer. She is the 4th person to die at the INN Between since it opened last fall.
Candace held a steady job all her life, but her battle with cancer depleted her funds and left her without a place to live and unable to work. So she came to the hospice to die with dignity, surrounded by loving volunteers.
Her mom, Pat Eppley, lives on social security and she says the INN Between was a godsend. "The staff is wonderful. They just went out of their way to be kind to her. They did everything they could possibly do for her and we appreciated it very much."
Several speakers eulogized Candace at the service.
INN Between Executive Director Kim Correa. "She was able to live here at The INN Between, independently, and fulfill the last few weeks of her life feeling like a strong and independent woman."
Hospice chaplain Cristi Fitzgerald. "We grieve because we love. For those closest to Candace, your grief is your expression of love."
Program Director Matilda Lindgren. "I was really honored to be with Candace when she passed. She was very peaceful. It was really unexpected."
Volunteer Liam Gallop. "It was such a joy to be in the presence of a soul who had so much acceptance of life and her journey and looking square in the face of her journey's end."
Volunteer Kristina Rodriguez. "I went to see her the morning that she passed and I sat with her and I said would you like me to rub your feet. And she said no, not today."
Volunteer Karen Earl. "She had a good nature. She was brave and she was strong. To make it as long as she did and as weak as she was, showed how strong she was. She was a very strong woman."
Executive Director Kim Correa says 97 homeless people died in Salt Lake in 2015. 47 of them died on the streets. The INN Between has room for about 14 terminally ill homeless people right now. She's trying to raise $250,000 to expand her facility by 25 more beds. Her goal is that no will die alone, especially not on the streets or in a park. She is gratefully accepting donations from the public to make that dream a reality.
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