2018 Homeless Memorial Vigil

Dec 21, 2018 | Events, News

This year’s event was a success, despite the pouring rain! Please visit this link to read the article about the event published by the SunJournal:


On the longest night of the year, no matter the weather, we stand vigil in downtown Lewiston.

Please join New Beginnings, Lewiston-Auburn Alliance of Services to the Homeless (LAASH), and the L/A Multifaith Group from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. to honor people who lost their lives while homeless this year.

Event Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/342473172974850/

Printable and shareable flyer here (PDF): 2018 Homeless Vigil Flyer

Community members are encouraged to bring the names of people who have died while homeless in the past year to read at the beginning of the Vigil. To submit names if you cannot attend, please contact Rachel Spencer-Reed at rachel@newbeginmaine.org or 795-4077.

Patty Johnson, far right, her husband, Neal, and daughter, Rebecca, bring awareness to the issue of homelessness during the 2015 Lewiston-Auburn Homeless Memorial Vigil in Lewiston. PHOTO CREDIT: SUN JOURNAL, 2015.

Patty Johnson, far right, her husband, Neal, and daughter, Rebecca, bring awareness to the issue of homelessness during the 2015 Lewiston-Auburn Homeless Memorial Vigil in Lewiston. PHOTO CREDIT: SUN JOURNAL, 2015.


— PRESS RELEASE  —                                                                         12-14-2018

Homeless Memorial Vigil to be held Dec. 21

New Beginnings, Inc., the Lewiston/Auburn Alliance for Services to the Homeless (LAASH), and the Lewiston-Auburn Multifaith Group invite the community to join their annual candlelight vigil to remember people who are homeless during the holiday season from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, December 21, 2018 in downtown Lewiston.  For many years, LAASH and New Beginnings have held this vigil as part of a national movement of cities marking National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day on or near the winter solstice, the first day of winter and the longest night of the year.

The Vigil will begin at 4:30 pm at Trinity Church (corner of Spruce Street and Bates Streets in downtown Lewiston) where attendees will gather for a few words of welcome and acknowledgment of people who have lost their lives while homeless from local multifaith leaders. Service providers and attendees are encouraged to bring names to read; to submit names if you cannot attend, please contact New Beginnings Director of Development and Community Services, Rachel Spencer-Reed at 207-795-4077.

After the reading of names and lighting of candles, vigil participants will walk several blocks down Bates Street to Main Street. The procession will turn right on Main Street and continue up Sabattus Street and stop in front of Calvary United Methodist Church (in the triangle between Sabattus, College and Bartlett Streets).

Community members are welcome to join the vigil at any point along the route. Participants are encouraged to bring signs to hold as the vigil remains in front of Calvary to raise awareness of homelessness to passersby during the evening commute until 5:30 pm.

The Vigil will be held rain or shine, ice or snow – so please dress for the weather. Hot soup will be available indoors at Calvary, and New Beginnings will offer van rides back to Trinity or to the Park St. Garage as needed.

Each year since 1990, the National Coalition for the Homeless has co-sponsored National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness.

Additional Details are available on New Beginning’s website www.newbeginmaine.org and the Facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/342473172974850/

The Vigil route is near the following services for people who are low-income or homeless:

  • New Beginnings operates support services and housing for youth and young adults ages 14-21, including a youth drop-in center, 134 College Street, 795-6831, and 24-hour emergency shelter at 491 Main Street; 795-4070.
  • Trinity Jubilee Center, 247 Bates St., provides daily meals and food, a warming center, refugee assistance, and resources to those in need; 782-5700.
  • St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, 208 Bates St., includes St. Mary’s food pantry, youth and gardening programs, and cooking and nutrition education programs; 513-3848.
  • The Center for Wisdom’s Women, 97 Blake St., includes a women’s day drop-in center with activities, workshops, and support groups; 513-3922.
  • The City Mission group at Calvary Church, 59 Sabattus St., serves hot supper downstairs 4:30-5:30 pm Wednesdays, breakfast 7:30-8:00 am Sundays, and a warm gathering place for those in need on Sundays 12 noon to 4 pm; 782-3221.


ABOUT the Sponsors:

About New Beginnings: Since 1980, New Beginnings has helped build brighter futures for homeless youth in Maine. Each year, the agency provides 700 children, teens, and young adults with opportunities for the safety, connection, and growth that they need to thrive. New Beginnings’ spectrum of housing and services prevent young people from becoming homeless, support families in crisis, and help vulnerable youth grow into healthy stable adults. To learn more visit www.NewBeginMaine.org or call (207) 795-4077. For 24-hour referrals, please call New Beginnings’ youth shelter at (207) 795-4070.

The Lewiston/Auburn Alliance for Services to the Homeless (LAASH) is a collaborative of organizations that serve local low-income and homeless people which advocates to improve access to services and housing for persons who are homeless or at-risk in the Lewiston-Auburn, Maine. To learn more about LAASH, contact Chair Giff Jamison at giff@tedfordhousing.org or visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/LAASH1/about.

The Lewiston-Auburn Multifaith Group gathers local clergy and faith leaders to refuel spiritually, connect with colleagues, and collaborate on community projects. L/A Multifaith serves as a public witness, collective voice, and a creative space so that all may flourish and experience joy. For more information, contact Brittany Longsdorf at (207) 786-6125.