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Candlelight Vigil to Honor Dignity of Those Who Died On Streets in 2016

The Central Coast Collaborative on Homelessness (C3H), Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) and Common Ground will host a candlelight memorial for those who have died on the streets in 2016. All interested are invited.

The vigil, which is open to all, will be from 6-7 p.m. Dec. 21 on the steps of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St.

"This is the fourth year we have honored our dead neighbors who were homeless," said Wayne Mellinger, a homeless advocate and CLUE board member.

"Thanks to the Freedom Warming Centers, we have seen far fewer die from hypothermia and exposure, but eventually, homelessness is fatal. We honor those who couldn't find housing and often died alone," Mellinger said.

Rev. Julia Hamilton, lead minister for the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, is among the interfaith clergy who will participate in the memorial.

Hamilton said, "We are proud of the work that this community has done to reach out to the most vulnerable among us, supporting programs like the Freedom Warming Centers. But there are still too many people living on the streets and in their cars.

"Those who are living on the margins still have worth and dignity as human beings. We have a responsibility as a community to remember them, and work towards a day when every person has access to the medical care that they need as well as a safe place to call home.”

Other participants are the Rev. Caitlin Cotter of the Unitarian Society, Jeannette Love from the Catholic Church of the Beatitudes, Maria Long from Doctors Without Walls, Santa Barbara City Council Member Cathy Murillo, and others from the clergy and wider community.

For information, contact: Chuck Flacks, executive director, C3H at 293-7965; [email protected]


— Chuck Flacks for Central Coast Collaborative on Homelessness.

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