On Christmas Eve, nearly 500 hungry guests arrived at City Auditorium between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for the Mission’s annual “Christmas For All” holiday banquet. As crowds of families, shelter guests and members of the community poured in, nearly 200 volunteers waited to seat them and bring them a plate of delicious food. The dishes included baked ham, green beans, mashed sweet potatoes, hot rolls and (of course) pumpkin pie. During the event, strangers became friends — they broke bread as they shared with each other shared hope and thanksgiving.
“I finally got an apartment last week. That’s the best Christmas present ever. I was homeless for four years, and now I’m not!” – Kat
On Thursday, Dec. 12, dozens of participants in the Mission’s “work engagement” program gathered in the Resource Center to celebrate Christmas together. The crew — mostly shelter guests working hard to overcome homelessness — ate lunch, exchanged and opened gifts and played games (and laughed a lot) during the event.
“It’s good to be with friends and have a good time. I’m grateful for that, and for having a place to stay on Christmas.” – Matt
Shortly before Christmas, residents of Greenway Flats gathered in the lobby to decorate a fresh-cut Christmas tree. Both the tree and the beautiful ornaments that adorned it were provided by generous donors of the Mission. For many residents — some who have not had a home for the holidays in years — it was a special opportunity to celebrate the holiday season in a classic way.
“It’s just nice to be indoors. I haven’t always spent Christmas inside — away from the cold. A lot of people still don’t.” – Ray
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