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Local Faith Communities and Organizations to Hold “Longest Night: National Homeless Person’s Memorial Service”

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Houseless individuals, members of local faith communities and representatives from social service agencies as well as the general public will gather on Saturday, Dec. 21, 3 p.m., the longest night of the year, to remember and honor people who died without shelter in Dane County and elsewhere this year.

This will be the 10th Longest Night Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service held in Madison. Nationally, the event has been commemorated annually since 1990 and brings attention to the growing tragedy of homelessness across the country.  The Memorial Service reminds us that every year members of our community, brothers and sisters, sons, fathers, husbands, wives and children die while they are homeless.  

The Longest Night Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service will include music, prayer, reflections and remembrances of neighbors who have died this year and who were homeless. The event will begin at 3 p.m. on the Capitol Square at the intersection of East Main/South Pinckney and King Streets, by the marble bench where Dwayne Warren’s body was found on June 26th, 2009. Immediately following, at 4:30 p.m. there will be a light soup and bread meal provided at First United Methodist Church, and from 5:30 p.m.  until 6:30 p.m. there will be an interfaith service of peace and remembrance. Participating in the service will be representatives from First Congregational United Church of Christ, First United Methodist Church, Madison-area Urban Ministry, and other faith community representatives and advocates working for housing for all. 

Wayne and Nancy Osterhaus and their Clydesdale team at a previous “Longest Night: National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Service” around the Capitol Square

Once again, there will be a horse-drawn hearse lead a procession around the Capitol before proceeding to First United Methodist Church for a meal and interfaith service.

Individuals who would like to add a name to the list of those to be remembered can do so by calling Linda at Madison-area Urban Ministry at 608-256-0906 or 608-206-6302 or names can be emailed to: linda@emum.org. Individuals who would like to drop donations of warm socks, long underwear, hats and gloves for distribution to individuals who are without a home can do so by dropping them off at Madison-area Urban Ministry, 2115 S. Park St.