Fwd: tips on holding a homeless memorial

Bonnie Briggs (s248_1132@hotmail.com)
Sat, 03 Apr 1999 09:44:46 PST

>Hi Tom,
>  You asked for tips on what people could do if they wanted to have
>their own Homeless Memorial on May 6/99. I'll tell you what we do, it 
>not neccessary to follow these tips exactly, these are only guidelines.
>  We reserve the main City Hall Square. It could also be a main square
>or area in town. We realize this could be expensive, but maybe you 
>apply for funding for the event. That's what we did. We usually start
>the service with a solemn procession with a coffin. This is symbolic of
>the homeless who have died in the previous year. This is followed by a
>moment of silence. This is always a very emotional moment. A white 
>is draped over the coffin and markers are provided for people to write, 
on the sheet,
>the names of people they know who have died. We have a serious part
>where we have invited speakers. One man who usually speaks is a
>formerly-homeless man who is an excellent speaker. He is also a very
>passionate speaker who tells it like it is. We have music to break up
>the serious parts. We have one band who plays for us every year. As
>well, we have some Native drummers who also come every year. There is
>always an open mike for the homeless to have their say because this is,
>after all, their event. No politicians are allowed to speak. We also
>have food for the homeless who come because many of them miss meals at
>their hostels by coming to our event. This could be donated. This year,
>the food will be free for the homeless and donations will be asked of
>everyone else. Our Memorial will be roughly two hours long, with
>flexibility to go longer if desired. But two hours is usually the
>maximum. then, you could follow it with a political event. Also, there
>could be political signs and banners at the event. (ie, "Housing is a
>human right." "housing not hostels, homes not jails.")
>  I hope this helps. As I said, these are only guidelines. I have to 
>the computer room is closing. Please let me know what you think. BTW,
>Happy Easter!

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