Bangor community hosts candlelight vigil for homeless

Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 10:51 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The Bangor community lit up the night with the most darkness with a candlelight vigil honoring those lost in the past year.

The annual event outside the Hope House draws attention to the homelessness crisis in Bangor as the nights grow longer and colder.

Bruce Hews of the Hope House says 100 people will spend the night outside tonight.

Bangor Police, City government, representatives from various organizations and the general public stood together in prayer and remembrance.

They then wrote the names of their lost loved ones on angels or stars to be placed on the Christmas tree outside the Hope House.

Officials say it’s an ongoing battle, but compassion goes a long way.

”Homelessness is a community problem,” Hope House clinic medical director Lisa Buck said. “That’s evidenced here because so many different parts of the community came out for this, so people realize that. Homelessness can happen to any one of us.”

“We’re trying to get those people who are unsheltered into shelter or into warming centers to keep them safe throughout the winter, so that we don’t have more people throughout the winter that we lose,” Hope House operations/community affairs manager Bruce Hews said.

The Bangor Area Homeless Shelter opened its warming center earlier this month.

City officials have identified affordable housing as a priority for the $20 million in ARPA funding they have received.