I recently took part in a moving ceremony honoring the memory of 88 people who had experienced homelessness and passed away in 2020 and 2021. We honored them by saying their names out loud. It was a somber occasion that pointed to the negative impacts homelessness can have on people’s health. In the end, having a place to call home for all of our neighbors is essential to their well-being.
But there also were many positives.
All of those who we remembered did not die outside and alone; they had acquired permanent housing because they connected with important services provided by IW and many other partners. We also honored their individual memories by sharing personal details about them, which reminded us of who they were and the lives they led. And the service represented important hallmarks of the effort to address homelessness in Montgomery County: collaboration and commitment.
We are very grateful to Montgomery County for the continued support of accessible shelter (which helps IW provide more than 50,000 bednights annually) and affordable rental housing, which enables IW to support families in over 200 units. And we are grateful to you, our donors, for helping to provide food, clothing, and a myriad of other essentials.
The message that resonated with me is that the strength of a community is defined by how it cares for its most vulnerable members. This message is at the core of the work that we do every day.
Thank you for all you do to support this important work!
Courtney Hall, Interfaith Works CEO