Crisis Ministries honors two lives lost in 2013

By Ava

Charleston, S.C. (WCIV) -- For the past nine years, Crisis Ministries has held a memorial service for people who died homeless.

Thursday night, the group honored two people who passed away this year.

"We're not sure why we're only honoring two people this evening. We're glad. Obviously the list in past years has been much longer," said Stacey Denaux, CEO of Crisis Ministries. "We're hopeful that our efforts to get people into stable housing are paying off."

Denaux said even if they have one person to honor next year, they will be there with candles in hand.

"In some ways this is the only memorial these individuals will have," she said. "We think that everyone deserves to be remembered for what they contributed while they were with us."

More than fifty people joined Denaux and Reverend Michael Wright of Grace Episcopal Church in Marion Square.

"Homelessness is about people and when it comes right down to it we're all people. So, we're remembering the humanity that has passed from this life," said Wright.

He said this event is in line with the Christmas story.

"In the original Christmas story which we proclaim involves a homeless family. Mary, Joseph and the Christ child," said Wright. {}

Denaux said her organization is seeing segments of the homeless population decreasing, but some are still increasing.{}

"We estimate about a 30% increase in family homelessness this year over last year and that trend was about 25% last year. It's been steadily growing over the last 10 years now," she said.

Crisis Ministries estimates a little more than 300 families have moved from shelters to homes of their own.


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