Candlelight memorial vigil walk for homeless

Posted Dec. 15, 2010, at 9:06 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Penobscot Community Health Care, in collaboration with the Hammond Street Congregational Church and the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, will sponsor the Homeless Memorial Day Candlelight Walk on Tuesday, Dec. 21.

Those who wish to attend the service are encouraged to gather at 5 p.m. at the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, 263 Main St.

The group will walk with candles to the Hammond Street Congregational Church, 28 High St. Those unable to walk may meet at the church at 5:30 p.m. for a memorial service with refreshments afterward.

Nine people died homeless on the streets of Bangor this year. According to the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, the homeless are three to four times more likely to die prematurely than their housed counterparts. Many are the targets of hate crimes; others have chronic health problems worsened by exposure to bitter winter weather.

Penobscot Community Health Care will join more than 100 health and advocacy organizations nationwide in commemorating National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day.

PCHC’s Hope House Homeless Shelter is partnering with Hammond Street Congregational Church, the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, Manna Ministries, Shaw House, Spruce Run, city of Bangor and Bangor Police Department.

“The event will celebrate the lives and mourn the deaths of our homeless neighbors in Bangor this year,” said Mike Andrick, psychotherapist and director of the Hope House Homeless Shelter, the second-largest in Maine. “To provide services to the homeless is not an act of mercy, but an act of justice.”

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