As most of us prepare to spend Thanksgiving with family, there are hundreds of people living on the streets of Oklahoma City who will not have that opportunity.
The Homeless Alliance hosted an early feast on Wednesday to give guests the opportunity to enjoy as much of the holiday as possible. With a long list of community meals offered on Thanksgiving Day, volunteers from culinary schools and top restaurants in the city spent the past three days preparing a tough act to follow.
“If you don’t have any family or you’re living on the streets, you can’t really partake in those traditions, except at places like this,” says Homeless Alliance executive director Dan Straughan.
Dinner guests are thankful for the full belly. “It’s free!” Lashay Webb says, “but other than that, it’s the people and the environment. Whatever stress you’re going through, it’ll be relieved.”
“We all go through struggles in life,” adds Walter Rivers, “but we got the man upstairs and good people around us, and I see all those people preparing the food and everything. They do a good job.”
Attendees are happy for the opportunity to enjoy Thanksgiving two days in a row at community meals around the metro, and despite their hardships, many say they are focusing on the good in their lives this holiday.
“I had a lot of things to bring me down,” admits Curtis Smith, “but I’m thankful for God being there for me, giving me the strength to overcome a lot of situations in my life.”
“I have my health, my life,” Webb says.
“It’s not hard,” Smith’s fiancé Cecelia Flores says. “It gives me reason to wake up in the morning, to be grateful for something every day. Every day is different.”
But the days are getting colder, and agencies now need your help to provide a little heat to those living on the street.
“We all need blankets, hats, coats, gloves,” Straughan says on behalf of the Homeless Alliance’s partner organizations. “Socks are like gold for this population, especially when it’s cold like this, and then those chemical hand warmers.”
There are a number of locations to enjoy community meals on Thanksgiving Day. Look for the one closest to you from the list below:
Salvation Army Chesapeake Energy Center Of Hope
1001 N Pennsylvania Ave, OKC
11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
UCO George Nigh University Center
100 N University Dr, Edmond
11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Norman High School
911 W Main St, Norman
City Rescue Mission
800 W California Ave, OKC
7:00 a.m. breakfast, 12:00 p.m. lunch
Grace Rescue – Exchange Ave Baptist Church
1312 S Penn Ave, OKC
10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
1335 W Sheridan Ave, OKC
3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Britton Road Church Of Christ
2520 W Britton Rd, OKC
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Putnam City United Methodist Church
5819 NW 41st St, OKC
Eastside Church Of Christ
916 Douglas Blvd, MWC
11:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m.