For the past 12 years, advocates, and friends, have joined together to recognize those who have lost their lives while homeless or due to their experience with homelessness on our Chicago City Streets. This vigil serves as both a solemn occasion for honoring the lives we have lost and a stark reminder of the sheer injustice of homelessness. A reminder that none of us will ever be whole until homelessness is eradicated once and for all. The vigil serves as a unique opportunity to stand in communion with one another and recommit to never, ever accepting homelessness as a problem that can’t be solved, but to instead remember that homelessness is a social problem that MUST be solved. Every year hundreds of people gather at Old Saint Pats for the candle-lit ceremony, and remember the names of people we lost are read aloud.
In addition, while the holidays are a warm, loving time for so many people, they are especially hard on people who lack stable, affordable housing for both emotional and physical reasons. Compassion and the spirit of giving during this time can provide a real lift for anyone seeking emergency shelter or experiencing homelessness.
If you would like to help, we will soon be gifting warm wearables in the form of hat, scarfs and gloves for men, woman and children which are provided in gift bags to some local homeless shelter residents. If you would like to make a donation towards the items needed for these gift bags your donation would be greatly appreciated.
People can become homeless for myriad reasons. Loss of employment, economic crisis, domestic violence, medical emergencies, mental health crises, and exiting the incarceration system among way too many other circumstances can lead to homelessness. Furthermore, people can be homeless and not visually appear to be so. Regardless of cause or appearance, they all lack a home.
As we walk towards Thanksgiving let us pray for the many causes of homelessness that we are not wise enough to perceive. Please heal these areas of brokenness in us as individuals and in our society at large.
- Tina Celeste
- Mary Ann Daly
- Jean Mrozek
Michigan City, IN