Cape Cod Vigils Remember Homeless Who Died in 2017

Solstice Vigil at Federated Church in Hyannis

HYANNIS – Homeless men and woman who have died on Cape Cod were remembered Thursday night with vigils held in Hyannis and Falmouth.

Organizers described the Homeless Persons Memorial Service as an opportunity to acknowledge the passing of people who may have no family to honor their lives.

About two-dozen individuals who were homeless have died on Cape Cod so far in 2017.

Across the country, it was the 27th year the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council sponsored the event.

More than 180 events were held around the nation on the longest night of the year to highlight the cold, harsh conditions the homeless face during the winter.

As the Cape Cod events were getting under Thursday, temperatures had already dropped into the mid-20’s.

Dan McCullough

In Hyannis, the remembrance began with a memorial in front of the Federated Church and then moved inside for a formal service.

Dan McCullough of Homeless Outreach Team M25 said it was important to not forget those who died, who are so many times nameless and faceless.

He said the homeless still have all he dreams and wishes during the holiday season, especially the children of homeless.

“It’s so difficult to isolate as a factor, that I’m always stunned to silence when people ask me, ‘what do you think are the causes of homelessness, or what do you think can be done for homeless,’” he said.

He said they are struck each by the number of homeless who have died on Cape Cod.

“Not having a home is a lot more than not having a roof over your head, it’s something else,” said McCullough.

Falmouth marked the event at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.

During the Hyannis event, candles were lit and the names of who died read aloud.

Local agencies that service the homeless, including the Duffy Health Center, also took part.

Duffy’s mission is to improve quality of life for persons who are homeless or at risk of homelessness on Cape Cod through community collaborations and the provision of integrated medical, mental health and addiction treatment.

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