Religious leaders in Stamford hold interfaith memorial service to honor lives lost to homelessness
Religious leaders and local officials held a memorial service outside a Stamford church on Thursday night to remind people of the harsh realities homeless people face during winter.
The Rev. Mark Lingley says it’s important to remember those who passed away this year and those who continue to deal with homelessness and addiction.
“This is a reminder to us to slow down and recognize any one of us could be out on the street, any one of us could have an addiction, and it could be us that is being remembered this night,” said Lingley.
The service was also dedicated to the Rev. Tommie Jackson, who died when he was struck by a Stamford police cruiser in July.
Religious leaders say Jackson was very passionate about helping vulnerable communities.
Rob Lockhart, the director of homeless services for Pacific House, says there's a growing demand at the shelters.
"It's been a challenge, but as it gets colder out, we have more people who have a need for shelter," said Lockhart.
He says his office has added more warming systems and coats to meet increased demand.
"The problem in this area is affordable housing, it’s a huge issue. Our agency has really jumped in head first and built and developed housing for our homeless," said Lockhart.
Religious leaders said this is a memorial ceremony held every year on the longest night of the year to remember lives lost and to create awareness for the vulnerable population.