The 32nd annual ‘Longest Night’ memorial honoring 13 lives to be held on December 21
All members of the public are invited to attend Clackamas County’s Longest Night vigil on December 21 from 6-7pm. The vigil will be held outdoors at Liberty Plaza, 815 Main Street, Oregon City. Those who attend are invited to bring new warm socks or a winter coat to donate to our homeless neighbors, to help them through the winter. Program participants will include Clackamas County Chair Tootie Smith, Oregon State Representative Mark Meek, blues musician Rae Gordon, Homeless Solutions Coalition of Clackamas County President Dan Fowler, and Clackamas County Housing Services Manager Vahid Brown.
The vigil will honor and remember our Clackamas County homeless residents who have died in 2022. 348 homeless people have died in the state of Oregon from January through September 2022, and 13 homeless people have died in Clackamas County in that time period. The Longest Night national memorial vigil has been held for 32 years, but 2022 marks that first time that Clackamas County will host a local event. The Clackamas County vigil is co-hosted by the Homeless Solutions Coalition of Clackamas County and the Downtown Oregon City Association.
“This event is a reminder of the serious human toll of homelessness on our communities,” said Vahid Brown. “We want to remember the dignity and value of our friends’ and neighbors’ lives that have been lost, and recommit to the urgency of our work to house everyone,” he said.
The vigil will include the reading of names, a candle ceremony, musical performances by Mark Meek and Rae Gordon, and community words of remembrance and stories. Street parking is free in downtown Oregon City after 5 p.m. Additional parking is located at the top of the elevator on High Street – a quick elevator ride will take attendees down to Main Street.