In a sign of solidarity, members of the faithful across Greater Sydney have been invited to commemorate the lives of some of our most marginalised community members.
On Tuesday 21 June, The End Street Sleeping Collaboration, whose members include the NSW Government, Catholic Care, the St Vincent de Paul Society and the Salvation Army, are hosting a memorial service to remember all individuals who have died whilst experiencing homelessness in the past year.
The memorial will be held at St Mary’s Cathedral Square, College Street, Sydney, beginning at 6pm. 21 June is also the longest night of the year, also known as the Winter Solstice.
The service is open to all members of the community, with those affected by homelessness including victims, carers, family, friends, outreach workers, volunteers, health workers and community workers also invited.
The End Street Sleeping Collaboration explain that it is a sad truth that many who die on the streets are not commemorated.
“Sadly, and unfortunately, this memorial will be their only commemoration,” they said.
“Our hope is to bring our community’s attention to the need to end street sleeping, as well as the plight experienced by homeless people, especially during the cold winter months, when high numbers of deaths occur.
“We recognise the dedicated work undertaken by many community, not-for-profit and faith-based organisations helping those sleeping rough on the streets of Sydney.
“We invite you to join with us on this day to commemorate, remember and celebrate the lives of all individuals who have died while experiencing homelessness.”
The End Street Sleeping Collaboration is a community initiative whose goal is to halve rough sleeping across NSW by 2025 as part of an international movement to end rough sleeping.
The Sydney Homeless Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday 21 June at 6pm at St Mary’s Cathedral Square, College Street, Sydney.