Community Gathers For "Longest Night" Walk

Dec 22, 2017

Credit Zach Bernard/WBOI News

Thursday marked the official beginning of winter, which meant last night was the longest without sunlight for the next year.

Every year, the Longest Night Memorial Walk is held to honor the memories of homeless individuals who lost their lives in Northeast Indiana over the last year.

The walk begins at the Rescue Mission on Superior Street and ropes around to Trinity English Lutheran Church on Wayne. This route is designed to raise awareness among participants of the struggle homeless individuals face when seeking shelter on cold nights.

Many service providers within different specialties attended the walk, despite some philosophical differences among them. Rescue Mission senior pastor Donovan Coley says the evening provides an opportunity to bring different ideas together with the ultimate goal of fighting homelessness.

“We need to come up with a comprehensive solution, something that leads to real change for the men, women and children who are now victims to what we call a crisis of homelessness,” said Coley.

25 homeless individuals died in Fort Wayne in 2017.

The walk from Rescue Mission to the church is a half mile, and takes about ten minutes to complete. Following the walk, Trinity pastor Gary Erdos led the sermon, before the reading of all 25 names concluded the evening.