(SAN DIEGO, CA, 11/3/15)Â – On Sunday November 1, a representative from the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-San Diego) participated in an Interfaith Candlelight Vigil to remember 91 homeless people who have died alone in the streets of San Diego between October 1, 2014 and September 20, 2015, a disturbing increase from 56 deaths the previous year.
The event was sponsored byÂ San Diego Rescue MissionÂ and supported by:Â The Council on American Islamic Relations San Diego Office,Â First Presbyterian Church, First Lutheran Church, Third Avenue Charitable Organization, Village Church, Bridge Church, SDPD HOT,Â Chabadâ€™s Youth Action Movement SD,Â San Diego Center for Spiritual Living, Zen Peacemaker Order, and San Diego Downtown Fellowship Â
The programs started with a walk from the San Diego Rescue Mission and ended at the County Administration Center.Â There the group assembled and conducted prayers and invocations from various faith groups.
HanifÂ Mohebi, executive director of San Diego chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations said: â€œIt is our collective responsibility to alleviate the pain and suffering of those who are in need.â€Â
He further explained that â€œspecifically as people of faith, we have an obligation of caring for our neighbors and community members, it is our obligation to take care of our homeless brothers and sisters and it is also our obligation to remember those who passed away homeless and alone in the streets of San Diego.â€
â€œWe need action to solve this problem,â€ saidÂ Sharif Battikhi, representing the Council on American-Islamic Relationâ€™s San Diego office who also spoke at the event.
Other speakers included: Greg Robinson and Herb Johnson of San Diego Rescue Mission, Rabbi Zevi New of Chabadâ€™s Youth Action Movement of SD, Rev. John Poleski of San Diego Center for Spiritual Living, Jackie Hider of Zen Peacemaker Order, and Pastor Mark Maliepaard of Bridge Church.
Also present were the police officers from the San Diego Police Departmentâ€™s Homeless Outreach Team.
The event concluded with reading the names of the 91 homeless men and women that had died between October 1, 2014 and September 20, 2015 in the streets of San Diego.Â
CAIR is Americaâ€™s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-San Diego Executive Director HanifÂ Mohebi, email@example.com, 858-278-4547 or 858-774-9991