Homeless Service Providers Come Together for National Homeless Person’s Memorial Day Proclamation
Yesterday morning, DuPage County Board members voted on a proclamation to designate December 21st as National Homeless Person’s Memorial Day.
For this event, service providers came together to designate a time to remember those who have passed away this year without a home.
- Carol Simler, DuPagePads President & CEO
- Jane Doyle, DuPagePads Board Chair
- Judie Caribeaux, Executive Director of Family Shelter Service
- Bob Adams, Executive Director of Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans
- Katie LeClair, Executive Director of 360 Youth Services
- Amy Palumbo, Director of Catholic Charities
- Karen Ayala, Executive Director of DuPage County Health Department
- Mary Keating, Director of DuPage County Community Services, Leader of DuPage County Continuum of Care
December 21st marks the first day of winter and the longest night of the year. Winter weather poses extreme hardships for families and individuals who are homeless and on this day we will take time out to remember the 5 members of our community who died while experiencing homelessness.
Read Carol Simler’s statement from the meeting below:
Thank you members of the County Board, for your commitment to insure the quality of life here in DuPage County.
As Chairman Cronin said, I am Carol Simler President/CEO of DuPagePads. This morning, I stand together with the other providers of Shelter and Support for the men, women and children who are homeless in our county.
Today we stand together to renew our commitment to end homelessness here in DuPage County.
On December 21st on the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, also known as Homeless Memorial Day, we will take pause to remember the five individuals who were members of our community who died while experiencing homelessness. We recognize the extraordinary toll homelessness takes on the health and longevity of people and also the public health of our community.
This year we will gather with volunteers and clients at all three of the DuPagePads overnight shelter sites to remember those who have died this year without a permanent home. Our goal is to commemorate the lives of the mothers or fathers, sons or daughters who died while in our shelters, from illness or conditions directly related to their homelessness.
In many cases, this service will be the only commemoration of their lives.
Homeless people suffer from a high prevalence of physical disease, mental illness, and a high occurrence of trauma with a mortality rate at least 3.5 times higher than the general public. We are aware of the cost of homelessness on our social fabric and on municipal budgets.
We’ve added Street Outreach to our Crisis Response System to those who are unsheltered in our communities. We invite members of our community to help us engage unsheltered individuals in our community to provide support and needed services by calling our Toll Free number.
Now, members of our Street Outreach team travel throughout DuPage County responding to those who are experiencing homelessness.
What we do know is that housing is good health care and a fundamental need, a basic human right, and protects people from illness, violence and death.
The DuPage Homeless Continuum of Care, has adopted a Housing First Approach to move people quickly to a place they can call home again in our community, and provide adequate supports to maintain their housing
In this season of generosity and sharing, think of DuPage County citizens who are less prosperous and without homes; particularly during winter months that pose extreme hardship and continues to be a serious challenge.
Homelessness is truly a sign in our community today that forces each one of us to ask the hard question – what is ours to do?
Homelessness isn’t just my problem, homelessness is a community problem, it’s everyone’s problem.
Join us on December 21st, by remembering the five individuals who have died as we honor their lives by working to provide solutions to end homelessness with our county. Stand with us to end this moral injustice and bring hope again in rebuilding and restoring lives.