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Two months into the job, Troy Vaughn came to Skid Row Wednesday morning as Los Angeles Mission’s newest leader to continue the charitable group’s annual tradition of offering Thanksgiving meals to those in need.

This year’s event looks a little different: L.A. Mission is offering people COVID-19 tests and flu shots along with boxes of food to be taken to-go.

“We want to make sure that they can still understand that somebody really cared for them, and that they can get that warm meal,” Vaughn said.

The CEO lamented the difficulties faced by many during the pandemic.

“People have been devastated,” Vaughn said. “People are living in hotels. They lost jobs.”

Once homeless, Vaughn is no stranger to hardships.

“People’s love in my life, the investment really changed my life,” he said. “And now full circle, I’m back here on Skid Row, serving our community as president and CEO of the Los Angeles Mission.”

Ellina Abovian reports from L.A. Mission’s downtown headquarters on Nov. 25, 2020.