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Annual Homeless Persons Memorial Service: Thursday, December 21

Filed in Health and Wellness, NEWS HEADLINES by on December 18, 2017 0 Comments • views: 186

The sun sets at 4:14 PM on Thursday, December 21 – and it won’t rise until 7:05 the next day. That’s nine hours and fifteen minutes of darkness – the most we’ll see this year.

Most of us have nice, warm homes in which to spend this cold, long night – we’ve got electricity, and heat, and warm blankets. For many, though, like the hundreds of homeless people on Cape Cod, a warm home is only a dream.

That’s why local advocates join together on the longest night of the year to honor the homeless men and women who died last year. With bagpipes, songs, candles, and prayers, the Cape Cod Community will acknowledge the passing of people who may have no family to honor and celebrate the successes they achieved and friendships they made.

As the event enters its 27th year, the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council view National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day as an occasion  to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness and to remember the individuals who have paid the ultimate price for our nation’s failure to end homelessness.  

More than 180 events will be held across the country on the longest night of the year to highlight the cold, harsh conditions the homeless face during the winter. This year 23 homeless or previously homeless people have died on Cape Cod.

Heidi Nelson, CEO of the Duffy Health Center, an organization that provides health services to homeless men and women, encourages everyone to “come and help lift up the names of those who might otherwise just be a statistic”.

This year’s memorial will begin at 5:00 pm in front of the Federated Church of Hyannis at 320 Main Street, Hyannis, with brief opening remarks led by Dan McCullough of Homeless Outreach Team M25.

Attendees will then enter the Church for the formal service to honor those who passed away this year.  The service will include music, youth from Youth StreetReach will light candles, and members of the community will read the first names of those who have passed this year.  

An informal gathering with food and beverages will be held in the Church Hall immediately following the service.

Donations of new socks, hats, and gloves are welcome. Additionally, financial contributions are welcome to help medically fragile people access emergency motel and hotel shelter during winter nights through Operation in From the Streets.




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