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A vigil to reflect on homelessness

Rhonda Costa
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

For many who work and live in Carson City, the homeless go unseen.

To help the community understand the issue of homelessness, the Dialogue Group to End Childhood Hunger and other agencies will gather at 6 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church for a community meal. The group will then walk to the Capitol

steps where they will reflect and share what they are doing to help the homeless.

“The whole idea of this is to think about homelessness and remember those who are out in the cold,” said Alan Dorway, a member of the dialogue group.

“If the community, if anybody wants to help, the best thing is to come to the church and bring some food to share, learn about homelessness and get plugged in with an agency.”

The vigil is being held on the longest night of the year, in conjunction with a national vigil.

Youth groups who are preparing a meal of salad, stew, sloppy Joes and dessert include St. Teresa’s, St. Peter’s Episcopal and First Presbyterian Church.

Clients and volunteers of the Do Drop In and Rural Center for Independent Living will be at the meal and vigil. The center provides information on jobs, housing and benefits and is a place for people who are homeless to get out of the cold in the winter or searing heat in the summer.

The center, 1895 E. Long St., opened its doors in August 2005. Director Dee Dee Foremaster said she has seen an increase in the number of people using their services recently.

“I’ve seen more of an increase of families and a lot more women this year,” Foremaster said. “I’m getting about 15-20 a day in.”

Foremaster said she has concern for the homeless, who may not have enough blankets, hats, gloves or footwear.

“We’re in constant contact with those who are at our center a lot,” she said. “If we don’t see them every morning, we go to their campsites.”

Foremaster said they could use donations of sleeping bags, blankets and paper goods at the Do Drop In. And, monetary donations.

“We aren’t able to put people in hotel rooms (in extreme weather) unless we get cash donations,” she said. “With the economic situation, it’s more important than ever we are here.

“I looked at the forecast for Sunday, and it’s supposed to be 32 degrees,” Dorway said. “It will be cold, but on the longest night of the year, we need to stand in solidarity with those who are homeless in the area.”

– Contact Rhonda Costa at rcosta@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.