A candlelight vigil was held Thursday evening to raise awareness about homeless individuals who have lost their lives for reasons related to cold weather. The San Luis Obispo County event was held the same day as National Homeless Persons Memorial Day, which has been commemorated every year since 1990.
The vigil preceded the first day of winter and the longest night of the year. In 2011, nearly 3,800 people were without a home in San Luis Obispo County, according to the most recent numbers available. Nearly 630 children slept in cars, hotel rooms, in shelters or on the streets.
The vigil was sponsored by United Way of San Luis Obispo County, San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation, People of Faith for Justice, the Homeless Services Oversight Council of San Luis Obispo County and the San Luis Obispo Ministerial Association. To learn more about organizations that assist the homeless, go to http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/HomelessServices.htm. Support is also needed for the warming station in San Luis Obispo this winter. For more information, contact Friends of Prado Day Center at http://www.pradodaycenter.org .