The Homeless Coalition of Chautauqua County is set to host a candlelight vigil to honor all homeless people who have passed away without recognition.
The fifth annual Homeless Person's Memorial Day will be held on Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. at the St. Susan Center, 31 Water St. in Jamestown. The event is open to the public.
Since 1990, on or near the first day of winter, which is the longest night of the year, the National Coalition for the Homeless has sponsored this event.
According to Sue Colwell, director of St. Susan Center, the purpose is to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness and to remember those who lost their lives because of homelessness.
"Believe it or not homelessness does exist in our area," Colwell said. "As I sit at my desk, at this very moment, there is a young man sitting across from me who needs a warm place to stay. He is the third homeless man who has visited St. Susan Center this week."
A candlelight vigil and moment of silence will take place in remembrance of members of the homeless community that have passed away without recognition. One of the members of the Coalition is Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. According to Housing and Community Development Director Bill Vogt, area homeless service providers have assisted 395 households with homeless housing and prevention services in Chautauqua County this year.
"The member agencies of the Homeless Coalition work together to provide a continuum of services and housing options for at risk individuals, because no one should have to sleep outside or in a car in Chautauqua County," he said.
Membership of the Homeless Coalition includes representatives from the American Red Cross, Chautauqua Opportunities, Chautauqua County Department of Health & Human Services, Jamestown Department of Development, Dunkirk Housing Authorities, Erie 2 Chautauqua/Cattaraugus BOCES, Housing Options Made Easy, Southern Tier Environments for Living, Legal Assistance of Western New York, St. Susan Center, The Resource Center, The Salvation Army, Veterans Administration, Willow Mission, and YWCA of Jamestown.
For more information call Colwell at 664-2253.