December 19, 2013
The homeless, including those who have died during the past year, will be remembered tomorrow. The Quad Cities Shelter and Transitional Housing Council will hold its annual memorial service in Davenport. Council member, Rick Schloemer, says one of their goals is to remind local residents there are homeless people in the Quad Cities, including during the winter.
"We do it on the winter solstice so that we recognize they're out on the longest night of the year. It's a case of making people aware that not everybody has a place to shelter, to lay their head at night"
Each year in January, the shelter and transitional housing council participates in a national count of the homeless. And Schloemer says the most recent count for the Quad Cities is 560 - during the winter most of them are able to find some sort of shelter indoors, but each night 15 to 20 do not.
"I will go to the Cafe on Vine and someone else goes to the Kings Harvest meal site and we'll ask people if they had a place to stay that night. And usually we find several people who will say "no" - that they slept in their car or in an abandoned building so we add those to the count."
The memorial service for the homeless will begin at 7:30 am Friday in the parking lot of Community Health Care, on River Drive in Davenport. And the council will accept donations of coats, hats, mittens, blankets, and scarves.