Many people have an opinion on why folks end up homeless — even on how to solve the problem of homelessness. Few, though, have spoken with someone living on the street.
Terry and Vicki Vicars of Youngstown have. For many years they’ve worked as advocates for the homeless and are sharing their expertise in the presentation Homelessness: Stories from Our Streets Thurs., Oct. 13 from 7-8:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend the program, which will be offered in the Ursuline Sisters library. Those attending should park in the pool parking lot at the east side of the Motherhouse and use the Silver Sneakers entrance. A donation of $5 is requested and can be paid at the door.
The Vicars’ presentation will cover some root causes of homelessness, the barriers that people in homeless situations face, and how people of faith can respond with compassion and mercy.
“We will share stories of the dignity, courage and resolve of so many who make use of their own inner resources,” he continues, “as well as those provided by social service agencies, faith communities and the kindness of strangers to create a healthy living environment.”
Terry and Vicki Vicars have lived in the Mahoning Valley for 28 years. Terry is employed as a case manager for Catholic Charities, Youngstown. For 19 years, he’s primarily served the needs of the homeless. Vicki has worked in religious education for various Catholic parishes for 26 years. As advocates for people in homeless situations, they act as a conduit between them, social service agencies, and generous people in the community anxious to share a helping hand.
Sister Nancy Dawson, executive director of the Ursuline Center, states, “As daughters of St. Angela Merici — known for her hospitality — the Ursuline Sisters’ educational center offers a home for programming to educate persons on homelessness so we can be more informed on the local reality and be less judgmental. We welcome the Vicars with their wealth of experience on this issue.”
For those involved in religious education through the Diocese of Youngstown and planning to attend, two hours religious education credit have been applied for.