From the Harford County Health Department:
Local homeless service providers are announcing the 3rd Annual Memorial Day for those who have experienced homelessness and who died in 2009. The local observance of National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day will be held this year on Monday, December 21st from 5:00pm to 6:00pm outside of the Mary Risteau Building located at 2 S. Bond Street, Bel Air.
Initiated in 2007 by Harford County’s Health Care for the Homeless Project (HCH), Faith Communities and Civic Agencies United, Inc. (FCCAU), and Harford County’s Department of Social Services Adult Services Division, this event is the third occasion that Harford County will be participating in the national recognition of Homeless Persons. The Sharing Hope Foundation has joined local homeless care providers in participating and promoting this year’s event. All community members, service providers, and consumers are encouraged to attend this important gathering.
People experiencing homelessness are three to four times more likely to die prematurely than their sheltered counterparts, according to a study released by National Health Care for the Homeless Council. Communities across the nation have observed National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day for the past two decades in remembrance of those who have died too early as a result of their homelessness. The National Homeless Person’s Memorial Day is held on or about the first day of winter, which marks the longest night of the year. In 2008, more than 120 communities, in the United States and in Canada held events to draw attention to the plight of homeless persons in the community.
Harford County currently offers emergency shelter, transitional housing, health care, and mental health services for homeless individuals. The Department of Social Services can assist individuals in obtaining federal and/or state benefits, emergency shelter, and provides case management services to assist in obtaining transitional and permanent housing. FCCAU provides four shelters in Harford County: FCCAU’s Welcome One Emergency Shelter – a 28 bed emergency shelter, two male transitional shelters, and FCCAU’s Fellowship Center – a day shelter. The Health Care for the Homeless program is a collaboration between Harford County Health Department and Upper Chesapeake’s HealthLink Primary Care Clinic to provide medical care and case management services to homeless individuals.
Members of the general public aware of individuals who passed away this year without a secure place to stay, or those interested in additional information on Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day or homeless resources, should please contact Kristle Fullerton, L.G.S.W. at the Harford County Health Department at 410-638-3060 or firstname.lastname@example.org.