Memorial Service for the Homeless-TWC News-December 20, 2013

Memorial Service for the Homeless
TWC News Staff

Unity Health System and Health Reach Health Care for the Homeless held a memorial service Friday (December 20, 2013) to honor members of the homeless community who have died in 2013.

The service was held at the chapel on the campus of Saint Mary’s Hospital on Genesee Street.

This was the event’s 7th year and included the lighting of candles, prayers and the reading of names of those who died this year.

Edward Kelly, a former member of the homeless community, came to pay his respects.

“No one would have to live like that. Accessing community support and things out here is very important – again finding housing, dealing with mental health, substance abuse issues, having the financial means to pay for your housing,” Kelly said.

“It’s one of the big things we hope to achieve here is to shed some light on homelessness in our community. You’re right, they tend to be invisible, these folks, and to let people in our community know that they are there and know that there are resources for them, because maybe even some of their family members may in this position at some point. To know that there are services and help for homeless individuals is very important,” said Dr. Carlos Swanger, Health Care for the Homeless medical director.

The annual Homeless Memorial Service is held nationwide on the longest night of the year.