Friday, December 21 at 6:45pm (Gilchrist Park’s large pavilion)

Charlotte County, FL – The public is invited to gather in honor of those homeless and formerly homeless Charlotte County residents who passed away during 2018. Charlotte County’s Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day Vigil, an annual event observed across the Nation, will continue to build on the theme of Remembrance, Hope, and Healing, while honoring the lives and dreams of some of our most vulnerable community members. Officially recognized in a proclamation signed by Charlotte County’s Board of County Commissioners in 2007, the Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day Vigil provides an opportunity for our community to come together and acknowledge, honor, and remember the precious lives we have lost throughout the year to homelessness while reinforcing our continued efforts to prevent and end homelessness in Charlotte County.

WHO: The general public is invited along with those people experiencing homelessness, advocates, shelters, faith-based organizations, healthcare providers, concerned citizens, city representatives, and local and state officials.
WHAT: Homeless Persons Memorial Day Vigil, in which the names of those who have passed away while experiencing homelessness in our community will be read as we release a candle-lit lantern into the night sky for each of our deceased brothers and sisters. We will also be reading the names and releasing a lantern for our community service providers who have also passed away this year, to honor their contributions to preventing and ending homelessness in our community.
WHERE: Gilchrist Park’s large pavilion – 400 W Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda, FL 33950
WHEN: Friday, December 21, 6:45pm – 8:30pm

BACKGROUND: Studies have shown that people who experience homelessness are at greater risk than the general population of infectious and chronic illness, poor mental health, and substance use. They are also more often victims of violence, prior to and once homeless. Additionally, homeless persons have a mortality rate four to nine times higher than those who are housed. With an estimated 40 million Americans living in poverty, 19 million experiencing housing insecurity, and 28 million without health insurance, the risk of homelessness and poor health is a concern for 1 out of 8 Americans.

Contact: Kelly Hunter
Director of Coordinated Services
Phone: (941) 626-0220 x 4
[email protected]