WHO: Covenant House Florida
WHAT: Approximately 300 youth and adults will gather to keep the light of hope burning for homeless youth as part of the 22nd Annual Candlelight Vigil for Homeless Youth hosted by Covenant House Florida.
WHEN/WHERE: 5:30 p.m. Youth Procession Gathering
Located at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, 130 North Magnolia Avenue in Downtown Orlando. Youth will discuss teen homelessness and listen to guest speaker Kevin Ryan, president and ceo of Covenant House International. At 5:45 p.m. there will be a book signing of the book Almost Home, written by Kevin Ryan and Tina Kelley, former The New York Times reporter. The book exposes some of the most egregious problems impacting at-risk youth..
6:00 p.m. Youth Candlelight Procession
Begins at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, 130 North Magnolia Avenue, to Walt Disney Amphitheater in Lake Eola Park, 195 N. Rosalind Avenue. Youth Procession Participants will place their candles on the amphitheater stage.
6:30 p.m. Candlelight Vigil Ceremony
At Walt Disney Amphitheater, the vigil will include music from The Timothy Lewis Band, inspiring words from teens and supporters, and a candle lighting ceremony.
DETAILS: In addition to the Orlando event, vigils will be held across the United States and internationally.
According to James M. Gress, executive director of Covenant House Florida, the number of youth seeking services from Covenant House Florida’s Crisis Shelter in Orlando has significantly increased since 2000. “Last year over 500 youth contacted Covenant House Florida in need of shelter. The purpose of the 22nd Annual Candlelight Vigil for Homeless Youth is to call the public’s attention to the fact that each night there are hundreds of adolescents, and young children whose parents are adolescents, who find themselves with no safe place to live or sleep.”
This event is possible because of the support of our sponsors: Sir Speedy and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. The Candlelight Vigil also counts on the support of the following partners: The Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Dawn Burnett Webb from A New Dawn Natural Solutions, The Timothy Lewis Band, FMA, A. Fraebel Studios, TshirtDriven.com, Big Dog Action Photography, FUMCWP Elevate Praise Band, and Sue McCullough.