Springfield organizations team up to feed homeless on Thanksgiving

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Veterans Coming Home and SingleMomzRock teamed up to provide Thanksgiving lunch for hundreds of homeless people in Springfield.

It’s the fourth straight year that SingleMomzRock has provided the food, and the tenth straight year that Veterans Coming Home has opened its doors on the holiday.

“We have [volunteers] that come that didn't sign up, which is a great thing,” SingleMomzRock founder Janelle Reed said. “This is one of the events that people love to help the community with, and we really don't want to turn them away.”

“Anything can happen to anyone and you can be homeless at any time,” Veterans Coming Home director Joe Batson says. “It's not the typical drunks and drug addicts, though there are quite a few of those here. I have over 200 people on average come through the doors and I would say less than 20 of those 200 are a problem... We should focus on the 180 that aren’t a problem.”

If Thanksgiving is about gratitude and appreciation, there was plenty of them.

“I think it's amazing,” Toni Simone says. “I appreciate everything that was brought here. I know it takes time, money, strength. The people that do this are amazing people and a special breed to take care of people like me. It's a wonderful thing that we have something like this. I don't take anything like this for granted, and I appreciate it.”

“The people helping, I think they're great,” Jeff Tovar said. “They're being led by the spirit of God to help the less fortunate out. The people coming in to eat, these people have been through a lot. Their circumstances may vary one after the other, but they're all human beings and deserve to be treated as such with decency, respect, dignity, and all.”