A 57-year-old homeless man died just after midnight Thursday morning at the Casa Esperanza shelter, bringing the number of area homeless who have died since January 1 to 16. The man was a disabled veteran and his family has asked that his name be withheld for the time being.

While some of the homeless deaths this year have been related to violent injuries, this one appears to have been natural. Shelter officials said this man had a number of underlying health problems. He was participating in the shelter’s recovery program and doing very well, they said. But while making the usual intermittent rounds Thursday morning, a shelter worker noticed he was lying in a position that “didn’t look right.” Medical staff were alerted and though paramedics nearly succeeded in reviving him, he died. Those who knew him at the shelter said he was very witty and greatly loved by all who knew him there.


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