The Haven hosts Homeless Memorial Community Vigil

Updated: Dec. 20, 2019 at 4:09 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - People in Charlottesville are making sure they remember those who died this year while being homeless in this community. The Haven hosted a Homeless Memorial Community Vigil on Friday for a time of reflection and awareness.

Vigil means to ‘keep watch’ and Stephen Hitchcock, executive director of The Haven, wants the community to keep watch over the homeless who are so often overlooked. "It’s a reality and that housing is the solution to homelessness so again we want to advocate for our folks who are still in this circumstance so that they can find safe and stable housing.”

For Cheryl James, reading aloud names of those who have lost their lives while experiencing homelessness is a sad reminder. “My husband was murdered in May on Pantops tragically and he was 24-years-old and he was from Florida - so it really hits home for me.”

James was a patron of The Haven for three years. “They got me a place at the Crossings and I also got a state check through them so they have been very helpful to a lot of people like that getting them off the streets helping them with deposits.”

Hitchcock and The Haven work every day to make sure more people do not lose their life to the struggles that come with being homeless. "This is a group of human beings who have a past a present but also a future and we really want that future to include a safe and stable housing outcome."

The Haven is always looking for volunteers to help provide a variety of support systems, from aiding in their job searches to cooking up meals.

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