Thursday, December 20, 2007

Candlelight Vigil for Homeless People

Homeless Memorial Day Friday

The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless will host the 21th Annual Homeless Memorial on December 21, 2007 at Franklin Circle Church to remember those who died over the last year while homeless. The memorial services will take place before the meal at the historic Franklin Circle Church at 1688 Fulton Ave near Lutheran Hospital at 5:15 p.m. A short inter-denominational service will be conducted before the names of those individuals who passed away over the last year are read. Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones will say a few words to honor those who passed away, and then candles will be lit to remember those who died.

This year as well, State Representative Michael Foley will be present to introduce a bill to protect homeless people from Hate Crimes. In Cincinnati and Cleveland this year, there were attacks on homeless people who lived outside, and this legislation would provide additional penalties for those found guilty of targeting homeless people with violence.

The memorial day is part of National Homeless Memorial Day with similar ceremonies on the first day of winter in over 75 cities in the United States. All the Coalitions in the state of Ohio also mark the first day of winter with vigils on Thursday December 20 or Friday December 21.

The names of those who passed away over the last five years are posted on the Coalition website at NEOCH staff are currently gathering names of those who died. The memorial is co-sponsored this year by the City/County Office of Homeless Services, the Louis Stokes Veterans Affairs Department, Care Alliance, InterAct Cleveland, and Franklin Circle Christian Church. This year the co-sponsors will give a lifetime achievement to a nurse in the community who has worked to improve the health care system for homeless people.

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

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