Lawrence family to make public statement soon
© Nancy Kelly - kingscountynews.ca
People in Berwick have become increasingly concerned by the presence of a homeless person who has been living on the street for nearly eight months.
By Nancy Kelly
Open Arms’ pastor is making plans to establish an outreach program and shelter in Berwick in the wake of a homeless man’s death
John Andrew said the Kentville-based ministry hopes to hold a public meeting Nov. 7 in Berwick.
After Harley Lawrence’s Oct. 23 death on the streets of the small town where he had lived for many months, Andrew said many people have expressed an interest in finding ways to address homelessness and mental health issues in their communities.
“Many people are upset or embarrassed about this happening in the their town,” he said, adding he hopes the upcoming meeting will provide an opportunity for the community to “project their energy and concern into something positive.”
While Open Arms’ policy is to work mostly with churches to offer support to people who are struggling with homelessness, Andrew said he plans to meet with Berwick town council in the near future.
“We want them to be part of the dialogue,” he said.
Andrew is also co-ordinating a session for Lawrence’s family to speak publicly about their loss. Family members, who attended a candle vigil for Lawrence held in Berwick Oct. 26 and the Oct. 30 funeral, have been largely silent about the life that Lawrence lived, their efforts to support him and how his choices affected them.
“They would like an opportunity to say this is how we feel and this is who Harley was. It may offer them some closure.”