ALAMOSA — Today we will come together as a community to honor and celebrate the lives of those we have lost within the last year. This will be a time to remember those in the community that are often forgotten, those that have passed while living without a home. The event will start at 6:30 p.m. and will be held outside of the La Puente Shelter at 913 State Avenue. The location is intentional in that it gives the attendees a glimpse into the nights that the underprivileged population we serve experience on a daily basis during the cold winter months.
January is the month with the coldest and longest nights of the year. To help combat this darkness, La Puente hosts their Winter Vigil each year. Community members come together to stand in solidarity with those struggling against the cold, long nights of the season.
The event is also an opportunity to honor the homeless men and women who did not endure the darkness and passed on within the year. This past year more than 2,000 men and women passed away due to homelessness, 232 of which were from Colorado, and two of which passed here in our Valley. La Puente’s ceremony will be held on Wednesday, January 17th. Please feel free to eat dinner at the shelter (served at 6 p.m.) before the vigil begins.
The event will consist of a few readings, songs, and the remembrance of two of our beloved community members, Jerry Hadley and Chris Manzanares. There is also a remembrance altar set up at the La Puente Shelter where individuals can leave a reflection about Jerry, Chris, or another person that they too would like to remember because, perhaps, they too have been forgotten.
La Puente invites all community members to participate even if they are unable to physically attend the event. From 6:30-7 they encourage you to stand outside, in silence, and take note of the feelings that arise during those moments; the cold, the sounds, the smells, and the emotions experienced during this time of reflection. Stand for those who have passed within your life, and those that could be experiencing some type of darkness at this very moment.
For more information on the event, please contact [email protected] or call 719-587-3499. La Puente looks forward to sharing this sacred moment with all of you and remind you that “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.