Dec. 21 is the longest night of the year, and there’s going to be a vigil in Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH — On the longest night of the year and the first official day of winter, communities across the nation will gather to commemorate the lives of the men and women who have died homeless.

In observance of National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day on Dec. 21, the public is invited to the memorial service and candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. at the Housing Resource Center, 104 N. Witchduck Road.

“Housing is a basic human right for all and this annual vigil serves as a powerful reminder that precious lives are still being lost due to homelessness,” said Teresa Stanley, Virginia Beach Human Rights commissioner. “It is a hopeful sign of great progress for us to be gathering for this annual vigil for the first time at the new Housing Resource Center, which provides an integrated array of services offered by the full community working together to make homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring in our city.”

The Virginia Beach memorial service and vigil is sponsored by the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission, the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation and the BEACH Community Partnership.

For more information, call 757-385-5761.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.