BY JAMES HARPER
A candlelight vigil for the homeless is taking place Jan. 19 starting at 6 p.m. on the corner of International Speedway Boulevard and Beach Street in Downtown Daytona Beach. The public is invited to attend.
The vigil is being organized by members of Occupy Daytona and H.O.M.E, a nonprofit organization formed by homeless individuals to educate the public about the new face of the homeless.
Occupy Daytona Members Liz Myers and Shannon McLeish were contacted by the National Occupy organization and asked to hold vigils to commemorate the passing of a homeless individual in Kalamazoo, Mich., who froze to death on the street in December 2012 because all of the shelters there were full.
He was undocumented, unnamed, and his death was underreported. He received a nameless obituary in the Kalamazoo newspaper.
Increase in numbers
McLeish, who lost her bid to sit on the Volusia County Council last November, said the purpose of the vigil is to recognize “this member of our human family and all whose voices have not been heard and whose human needs have not been met.”
“Houses sit empty for years in our community, while the number of families and formerly low-wage workers experiencing homelessness for the first time has increased dramatically. Our community has been unable to meet even their need for food due to the overwhelming numbers,” McLeish said.
“This vigil in Daytona Beach will be dedicated to the people currently experiencing homelessness in an effort to invigorate public conversation and action to address homelessness,” she continued.