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City's Homeless Speak at Moving Vigil

Middletown's event, organized by Wherever You Are Healthcare for the Homeless, was part of memorial services held nationwide on the longest night of the year.

It was standing room only Wednesday night at Main Street's Church of the Holy Trinity as hundreds gathered for the

A good part of those in attendance were homeless, says Lydia Brewster, assistant director for community services at St. Vincent De Paul Place in Middletown. "Folks came from [the soup kitchen], the Eddy Shelter, from all around," she explained. "This is the first year it's been owned by the people whose lives are impacted."

Brewster passed around a microphone and each homeless person said his or her name. "It was very moving," she said. Then those transients who passed away in the last year were remembered.

A poignant moment took place when one homeless man raised a candle in memory of "Bobblehead" who drowned several years ago by falling into the Connecticut River. He was so nicknamed for his jerky movements while walking down the street.

One of the women who regularly frequents the soup kitchen allowed her grocery carriage, with all her worldly possessions inside, Brewster said, to be placed up in front of the large group of homeless people gathered as a symbol of the city's dispossessed.

Mayor Dan Drew, Sen. Paul Doyle and Carol Walter of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness spoke at the event sponsored by the Community Health Center, the Middletown Press reports.

The Middlesex County Coalition on Housing and Homelessness, known by the words, End in Ten, began in 2008 as a way to combat the causes — not the symptoms — of homelessness.

  • Reduce homelessness among single adults by 30 percent
  • Reduce homelessness among families by 36 percent
  • Prevent 159 households from becoming homeless through the Prevention Fund
  • Create 56 units of supportive housing including 10 outside of Middletown

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Kathy Way December 22, 2011 at 08:52 PM
The service touched me deeply...I was one of the homeless who attended...I live at the Shepherd Home...
Alicia Yost December 22, 2011 at 10:37 PM
I love this story! Kathy, I used to help out at the Shepherd Home quite frequently and became friends with a woman. It took a few years but I was able to see her work and study and get a great job and when the time came, I helped her move into a new apartment. It was an amazing thing to be part of and I was so very proud of her. I wish the very same for you!

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