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Local Homeless Deaths
updated: Dec 15, 2010, 9:01 AM

How many people die homeless in our county each year?

Although it is impossible to know exactly how many people die homeless in our county each year, the names of at least thirteen residents who have died homeless since the first of the year will be read at several local congregations and at the Homeless Person's Memorial Service on December 19 at 3 p.m. in Plaza Park, across from the post office in downtown Ventura. The youngest was thirty-two and the oldest was sixty-five. The local service is being held in observance of National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day which was designated as such in 1990 by the National Coalition for the Homeless to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness and to memorialize those who have paid the price for our nation's failure to end homelessness.

The service is part of the Universalist Unitarian Church of Ventura's Lift Up Your Voice Project, a collaborative effort aimed at ending homelessness. In speaking to the Ventura City Council on November 15, Rev. Jan Christian, minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura, noted, "If fires were raging in our hills, we would have an emergency shelter open within hours. There is a different fire in this city and it is just as devastating to life. It is time for a sense of urgency. It is time that we all become uncommon leaders willing to build the common good."

After the service there will be a walk in silence downtown with cardboard signs highlighting the need for an emergency shelter.

Members of the public are welcome to bring blankets, bedrolls and warm clothing to augment the church's donations. To add names to the list or for more information call Beth at 644-3898 ext. 101 or email her at luyv.beth@gmail.com.


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