County Plans Homeless Memorial Day Event

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MIDDLESEX COUNTY — On Wednesday, Dec. 21, the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, along with many Middlesex County homeless service providers and advocacy organizations, will partner to honor and memorialize all those have died homeless during 2011.

Through the advocacy of the National Coalition for the Homeless, National Consumer Advisory Board, and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC), communities throughout the nation have held a Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day every year since 1990. The event is held on the first day of winter, the longest night of the year, in an attempt to symbolize the harsh elements of winter that threaten homeless persons’ health and lives.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Metuchen and Making It Possible to End Homelessness are sponsoring a “Time of Remembrance,” scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Edison Municipal Complex, 100 Municipal Boulevard, Edison. A candlelight tribute will be held to emphasize the impact this particular day represents.

Middlesex County Freeholder Blanquita B. Valenti, chair of the County’s Human Services and Senior Services Committee, said her wish was “that those who attend the event will leave with a sense of awareness that our homeless constituents die every day from exposure, illness and hate crimes.”

The evening will include:

  • Public Awareness Education
  • Music/Poetry readings from Homeless Individuals
  • Music Selections by the Silent Choir
  • Interfaith/Intercultural Readings
  • Community Commitment to Assist
  • Community Coat Drive

“Middlesex County is committed to end homelessness here in 10 years,” said Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano. “On behalf of the entire Freeholder Board, I thank all those helping us reach this goal and for their dedication to helping the neediest among us.”

For further information, contact Bridget Kennedy of the Middlesex County Office of Human Services at 1-732-745-4228.

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