With Thanksgiving in just a few days, there is a lot we can be thankful for- a job, our family, and a home, which many people unfortunately are without in our city. Of the 1.6 million people in Philadelphia, there are over 1,000 people homeless, as of a count last year. Given the high population, homelessness is considerably low compared to other major cities in the country, such as Los Angeles or Detroit. Still, the issue remains an important one in our city that also battles poverty and a growing opioid epidemic. The Church of Christian Compassion recently gave homeless people in Philadelphia a delicious 5-star Thanksgiving feast, giving them a sense of value and comfort during for the holiday.
The “Great Family Gathering” has been held for the last 17 years by the Church of Christian Compassion and their goal has been to reach out to every homeless shelter in the city and bring them to enjoy a hot meal to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. The church is partnered with Philadelphia Trolley Works and collectively gather approximately 5,000 of the city’s homeless for this event.
Pastor Lonnie Herndon, who helps to organize the event, said “From the time they get off the trolley till they’re served in the line, our goal is to treat them with unconditional love and really make them feel really special.” Those dining can enjoy music and dancing along with traditional Thanksgiving foods like turkey, stuffing, green beans, sweet potato casserole and more.
This is a beautiful way to give to those who are less fortunate than us and connect to the true meaning of Thanksgiving.