Press release submitted by Quad Cities Shelter & Transitional Housing Council|
Mission: To involve community stakeholders in a coordinated approach to advocating for, housing, and serving homeless and near homeless individuals and families
For most of us December 21, the winter solstice, will be just another day as we sit in the comfort of our homes begrudging the official arrival of winter. But for people experiencing homelessness, it will be a very long night and only the beginning of a season of struggle to find a place to escape the elements.
Earlier that day, the Quad Cities Shelter and Transitional Housing Council will host the annual Quad Cities Homeless Memorial Service. This event takes place across the country on the longest night of the year, to remember those homeless or formerly homeless people who have died in the past year. The service will start at 7:30 a.m. in the Community Health Care clinic parking lot at 500 West River Drive in Davenport. The service will include music and poetry readings by local artists, prayers, and a moment of silence for those who have passed. Following the service a vigil will be held until noon to remind us to keep those less fortunate in our thoughts during this season of celebration.
According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, homeless people are three to four times more likely to die than the general public. During the national point-in-time count last January 25, 605 men, women and children were counted as homeless in Scott County. Three emergency shelters, two domestic violence shelters, a seasonal overflow shelter and various other agencies that provide services still do not have enough beds to meet the need.
At this time of year, many people ask, "How can I help?" Your presence at the service will let those experiencing homelessness know they are not forgotten. During the vigil, donations of coats, hats, gloves, blankets, toiletries, and other cold weather necessities will be accepted on site. Collected items will be distributed among the participating member agencies of the Quad Cities Shelter and Transitional Housing Council. To learn about our agencies and more ways to help, please visit the Council's Facebook page.