Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Care for the Homeless Clients Celebrate Successes in Overcoming Homelessness

And Second Opportunities for Those Still in Need

Each year on the day of the winter solstice in December, the “longest night of the year”, Care for the Homeless and hundreds of other groups across America observe Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day to remember those who have died during the year without housing and to recognize that better policies can end modern day homelessness as we know it.

This past Saturday, on the occasion of the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, the client leaders at Care for the Homeless inaugurated a new event: a Summer Solstice Success Celebration. It’s an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the success people have had in overcoming obstacles to beat homelessness by finding and maintaining permanent, stable housing.  It also recognizes that with better policies every New Yorker who is unstably housed or on the verge of homelessness could have an opportunity for the same kind of “second chance” the honorees at the Celebration were able to take advantage of.

“Homelessness is a crisis,” Care for the Homeless Executive Director Bobby Watts told the assembled

crowd at Broadway Presbyterian Church on Saturday. “But with the right policies and programs we can end homelessness as we know it. As we advocate for those better policies it’s important to recognize there are people who overcome the evil of homelessness, and to celebrate their success. With each success, the individual – and society – is healthier and stronger.”

New York City Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Gilbert Taylor spoke at the event and handed out awards to the event’s honorees. The program also featured lunch, live music and entertainment and “stories of success” from several Care for the Homeless clients now living in permanent housing.