PERTH AMBOY, NJ - The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, along with the City of Perth Amboy, God’s Army Ministries of NJ and many Middlesex County homeless service providers and advocacy organizations, will partner on Dec. 21 to honor and memorialize all those whom have died homeless during 2016.

The event has been held on the first day of winter, the longest night of the year, every year since 1990 in an attempt to symbolize the harsh elements of winter that threaten homeless persons’ health and lives.

“In Middlesex County, our neighbors don’t just include those who live in the homes around us, but also those struggling to find suitable shelter,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Blanquita B. Valenti, chair of the County’s Community Services Committee. “It is my hope that this event will raise awareness of our homeless citizens and of those who have died from exposure, illness and hate crimes, and that it acts as a call to action to help them.”

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The memorial will begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Perth Amboy Train Station, 249 Smith Street, Perth Amboy, NJ 08861. A procession to Renovation House, 200 Jefferson Street, Perth Amboy, NJ 08861 will follow.

Donations of new men’s and women’s coats (all sizes), hats, gloves and warm socks will be collected and most gratefully appreciated.

The evening will include education, interfaith and intercultural readings, music and poetry readings from homeless individuals. The Community will also be asked to commit to help end homelessness. New Men’s and Women’s undergarments and socks will be distributed.

“Middlesex County is committed to end homelessness here,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “On behalf of the entire Freeholder Board, I thank everyone who is coming out to support this event, which I am hopeful will raise awareness and help us help our neediest residents.” 

For further information, contact Melyssa Lewis of the Middlesex County Office of Human Services at (732) 745-4276.