December 28, 2023
On Dec. 21, the longest night of the year, Cape Cod residents gathered to remember people that died in 2023 who were experiencing homelessness, or had at some point in their lives.
Each year, the Cape Cod Council of Churches organizes the Homeless Persons Memorial Service at the First Baptist Church of Hyannis. For the past several years, Vinfen’s Homeless Outreach and Engagement Team has partnered with the Council and other area agencies to remember those who passed in the last year–many of whom we worked with in our programs.
Members of our team gave readings during the service, and as they do each year, the team also put together gift bags containing toiletries, mittens, hats, scarves and warm sweaters–donated by the Mashpee Middle/High school and private donors—to give to those in need following the service. This year, students from St. John Paul II School painted Christmas scenes on the bags and were involved in the ceremony itself, receiving an opportunity to learn about the importance of community and giving back.
Vinfen is privileged to be involved with this annual service to honor our community members who have passed away, and to acknowledge the importance of advocacy for better housing resources to reduce the homelessness crisis so many individuals are still facing.
You can learn more about this year’s event here: Cape Cod vigil remembers 60 people who died from homelessness in 2023 (capecodtimes.com).