Memorial service for the homeless Dec. 20 at Carpenter’s Place
The community is invited to attend a local observance of the Homeless Persons Memorial Day from 10 to 11 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 20, at Carpenter’s Place, 1149 Railroad Ave., Rockford.
This annual event is held each year to recognize homeless people who have died during the past year.
According to Shelton Kay, director of the Crusader Community Healthcare for the Homeless Program: “Many homeless persons die alone, silently and without public recognition. This is a special way to formally remember our homeless friends and neighbors who died in 2012.”
This event is held each year on or near the first day of winter, as it is the longest night of the year. It is also a time to reflect on the unique perspective on homelessness and an appreciation of the basic things in life that are often taken for granted — privacy, independence, safety and security.
People experiencing homelessness are three to four times more likely to die prematurely than their housed counterparts, according to a study released by the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. This year, the memorial service will remember 47 homeless people, men and women ranging in age from 20 to 78 years, who lost their lives during the past year.
Crusaders Healthcare for the Homeless Program began 23 years ago with a mission to provide health care, substance abuse and mental health referrals, assistance with housing options, and entitlement services to the homeless at 10 locations. During 2011, Crusader served 1,272homeless clients.
For more information, contact Shelton Kay at (815) 289-6393.
From the Dec. 19-25, 2012, issue
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