The interfaith vigil was held at St. James’ Episcopal Church, 37051 Cabrillo Terrace (corner of Thornton Avenue and Cabrillo), in Fremont. The yearly event encourages those attending to remember and reflect on the lives affected by homelessness. The names of people who passed away while homeless in Alameda County were read.
The Rev. Lori Walton, Rector at St. James’ Episcopal Church, led the interfaith prayer.
“The highest expression of compassion is to reach our hand out, helping those who have less, lifting up the disenfranchised, and recognizing the humanity in each person,” Walton said. “This begins with the awareness that there are those who suffer on our neighborhood streets due to lack of the most basic needs. This vigil serves to honor each life and to bring into our vision the urgent need to actively care for the well-being of all our citizens.”
Other featured speakers included Fremont Mayor Bill Harrison, the Rev. Ken Parris, and Fremont Planning Commissioner David Bonaccorsi, who’s also an Abode Services board member.
“As we enter the holiday season, a time of year that’s especially difficult for some of our neighbors, it’s more important than ever to remember the plight of our community’s most vulnerable people,” said Abode Services Executive Director Louis Chicoine, who also will speak at the ceremony. “This annual vigil is a somber remembrance, but also a hopeful call to action and a reminder of the importance of ending homelessness in our community.”
Those attending the vigil were encouraged to donate canned goods and other non-perishable items at the church.
As part of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (NHHAW), Abode Services also participated in a radio interview in San Jose on Nov. 13, and held a Coffee Klatch meeting in Fremont on Nov. 15 to discuss our programs with supporters and community members. NHHAW this year began on Nov. 12 and ends on Nov. 20.
About Abode Services
Established in 1989, Abode Services’ mission is to end homelessness by assisting low-income, un-housed people, including those with special needs, to secure stable, supportive housing; and to be advocates for the removal of the causes of homelessness. Abode Services, the Bay Area’s largest provider of housing services to homeless people, has provided homes to 5,074 adults and children in the past five years. Abode Services offers programs in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Alameda counties that combine housing and services to assist homeless families and individuals in establishing stability and independence. Last year, Abode Services assisted more than 4,400 people and ensured that on any given night more than 2,000 people slept in a home rather than on the street.
To learn more about Abode Services visit: www.abodeservices.org.