PORTLAND — Maine’s largest city is hosting an annual vigil for the homeless who’ve died in the past year.

The event takes place Monday evening in the courtyard of the Preble Street Resource Center on the winter solstice, the longest night of the year.

Mark Swann, Preble Street’s executive director, said the human toll of allowing people to slip through the cracks is “devastating.” He says the lifespan of people who endure chronic homelessness is 28 years shorter, on average, than others.

He says the homeless community lost 36 people over the past year in Maine. This is the 21st year that the event has been held.