Candlelight vigil spotlights Fairbanks' homeless youth

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Residents participating in yesterday's candlelight vigil walk supported efforts to aid homeless young people in our community.
The vigil was held by the nonprofit 'Street Outreach and Advocacy Program', also known as "SOAP," along with the Fairbanks Native Association.
Every year on the first Wednesday of November, representatives and volunteers from SOAP join together to honor homeless youth by lighting candles, holding up signs of support, and scheduling a 20 minute walk through downtown.
This is the 5th time the group has hosted this event.
A proclamation, signed by the mayors of Fairbanks and North Pole, was read out loud at the end of the walk.
It stated that the mayors were aware of the homeless youth population, and wanted to show their support.
SOAP has been a safe drop-in center for youth seeking help in getting a job, an apartment, or an education.
Rebecca Buckles; Program Director Therapist, S.O.A.P. Program>>: "It's been going on for...before I ever got to Fairbanks. But it's to show that we care about our homeless youth out there. We have a lot of homeless youth that are not counted and I've known up to five hundred before. Like I said in 24 days we had a hundred and seventy-one unduplicated youth, walk through the SOAP door. So it's a need. We need to get our youth off the street."