Midnight Mission volunteers, city leaders serve thousands of Thanksgiving meals to those in need

Local news

Volunteers with the Midnight Mission and Los Angeles city leaders helped organize a Thanksgiving feast Thursday for the unhoused on Skid Row.

After scaling down its annual Thanksgiving program last year due to coronavirus restrictions, the Midnight Mission on Skid Row this year brought back its yearly festive tradition of providing brunch and live music to nearly 2,500 people experiencing homelessness.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Kevin de León also joined in the festivities, both emphasizing the need to provide assistance to those unhoused.

“The volunteers were also able to sit down and talk to somebody. So a homeless person isn’t just a statistic, it’s a story. It’s not just a number, but a narrative, a name,” said Garcetti.

De León said that last year alone, over 1,383 people lose their lives living in the streets in L.A.

“I think it’s time that we move to have it in ourselves to lean in with all the power that we have at every level of government to providing the housing that’s necessary sooner rather than later,” de León added.

For many volunteers at Thursday’s event, they couldn’t imagine celebrating Thanksgiving without giving back to those less fortunate.

Quennisha Gordan, a volunteer at the event, said Skid Row isn’t just ground zero for the homeless or those battling substance abuse, as the pandemic impacted many families in unimaginable ways. Many people who had jobs and homes a year ago have since lost their livelihoods following the pandemic, she said.

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