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Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day: 12/21-12/22 December 16, 2010

Posted by abhomeless in Events.
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Join us in commemorating the lives of those who died while experiencing homelessness this year.

Our annual Homeless Persons’ Memorial observance will be held on December 21 through December 22 and will provide an opportunity for our community to grieve for those we lost in 2010 and to show support for people in Asheville-Buncombe who are currently experiencing homelessness as well as support for the agencies that work to end homelessness for all.

We will open our reflection on December 21st, the longest night of the year, with a candlelight vigil in Pritchard Park at 5PM.

  • The vigil will be led by the Church of the Advocate. Free tea and coffee will be provided by local vendors.
  • To show support, local businesses and neighbors will burn a candle or put a poster up for the night.  If you plan to do this, be sure to contact us and let us know!   The poster can be downloaded here.
  • UPDATE – Click HERE to read the Citizen Times article with photos about the vigil.

On December 22nd the Haywood Street Congregation will host reflection and a memorial.

  • The Haywood Street Church will open its doors and sanctuary at 9AM for reflection. There will be a free community lunch at 11:30 and a Memorial Services at 12:30 that will provide an opportunity for us to share our memories of those who passed on in 2010 and to honor their lives.  The Haywood St. Congregation is located at 297 Haywood Street at the corner of Haywood Street & Patton Ave. in Downtown Asheville.
  • Community members can donate coats, hats, jackets, and blankets for people experiencing homelessness at the church that day.

On any given night, over 500 individuals are without a home in our community. Those who experience homelessness are at a much greater risk of injury and death than their housed counterparts. According to the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, those without housing are 3-4 times more likely to die prematurely than those with housing. The average age of death for those experiencing homelessness is around 50 years in contrast to the average of 78 years for the rest of the population. Deaths among those without housing are often the consequence of inadequate access to healthcare, hate crimes and exposure to harsh weather.

We hope you will join us in commemorating the lives of those who died while homeless in 2010.  So far, we have learned of 19 people who have died this past year. If you know of someone, please contact us so that we can read their name during the memorial.

There are still opportunities to volunteer and help with the service, if interested contact Katherine at  the Homeless Initiative (kmccrory@ashevillenc.gov)

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