PFC’s first Vigil began the evening of Thursday, December 19 at Freedom Plaza, which is directly across from the Wilson Building, the seat of DCs Mayor and City Council, and two blocks from the White House. The event received support from Miriam’s Kitchen and The Way Home Campaign. It began with an Overnight Challenge where members of PFC and others slept out under the stars on Freedom Plaza in order to show solidarity with individuals who regularly sleep on the streets.
DC Council Member Jim Graham invited Vigil participants to a Christmas Party at the Wilson Building where they shared with DC Council members and staffers what it was like to sleep on the street and discussed actions needed to end chronic homelessness in the district. Later in the evening Mayor Grey came to Freedom Plaza where he spoke with participants for over a half an hour.
On the morning of Friday, December 20 PFC hosted a well-attended event on Freedom Plaza. An array of speakers spoke about the challenges faced by people who live on the streets as well as programs designed to help needy DC residents to obtain affordable and sustainable housing. This was followed by a procession with police motorcycle escort up 14th Street to the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. At the front of the procession was an empty casket, symbolizing individuals who died on the streets in 2013,. The Vigil ended with a memorial service at the church. Saturday’s Washington Post featured a front-page article on the Vigil with a large photograph of the procession. CNHED produced a video of the 2013 Vigil.