Homeless on Christmas

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

While many in the Grand Valley will be spending Christmas feasting and celebrating with family and friends, some in the community will have to spend it alone and on the streets. But one local group is making sure that not even the homeless go without a Merry Christmas.

Charles Braley says for he and other homeless people in the Grand Valley, Christmas can be anything but happy and joyful.

"We ain't got no place to go when it's really cold," said Braley. "Because of the holidays, everybody is closed down."

Knowing the problems they face during the holidays, Lori Meyer and her group, Christ Food Ministry, is determined to make sure the homeless get some semblance of a Merry Christmas.

"We're just feeding the homeless and giving them Christmas cheer," said Meyer.

For the last 12 years, she and other volunteers have come to Whitman Park to serve those who are desperately in need.

"We do this every Sunday and holiday, when the soup kitchen is closed," said Meyer. "There is no meal for these guys, so we step in and we do the meal for them."

Thursday, dozens of homeless people enjoyed a hot Christmas dinner complete with turkey, mashed potatoes, pie, and all the other trimmings. Braley says had it not been for Meyer and the other volunteers, he can only imagine how he would be spending his Christmas.

"By myself, homeless," said Braley. "Wondering where my next meal was going to come from."

Meyer says no person should ever have to feel that way during the holidays -- and that's just why she does what she does.

"They need to know they're loved," said Meyer. "That they're loved not only by their community but by God and the Christians in the Valley that we care about them."

And while they admit Christmas on the streets won't be perfect, the homeless say this display of generosity did a number to boost their Christmas spirit.

"Somebody cares about the homeless," said Braley. "We get to be around friends. Since we ain't got no family out here, we've got each other out here."

The group says that's what it's all about.

"It makes it awesome, especially when we can do something for them on Christmas," said Meyer.

In addition to the food, the homeless were also given new gloves and hats, clothes, and blankets among other things.

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