CHUM Honors Lives Lost With Christmas Vigil

41 Lives Were Lost This Year

Dozens of people who either personally experienced homelessness, or advocated for homeless people in the Twin Ports lost their lives this year. Tonight, Churches United in Ministry, known as CHUM took time to honor them.

41 people held candles and white signs, each with a name written on them.

Most are the names are of people in the twin ports who were affected by homelessness, and lost their lives. One was of a community member who advocated for homeless people.

“I think it brings an awareness to people that this is a reality that’s happening, that people die on our streets,” said Deb Holman, who works for CHUM.

The average age of death for those honored, was around 50 years old.  That means their life spans were more than 20 years shorter than the average American’s.

“Many people are invisible in our society and we try not to have anybody invisible,” said Lee Stuart, the Executive Director of CHUM.

“Alot of folks that passed away this year, I think it’s directly related to poverty,” said Holman.

That’s why organizers hold the vigil.  To remember the lives lost, and to start a conversation about what we can do as a community, to bring down poverty and homelessness.

“If we don’t remember things like this we might forget that it exists and we might ignore it completely,” said Stuart.

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