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Veterans Coming Home Center offers free thanksgiving meal to homeless community

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 9:46 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Veterans Coming Home Center offered a free Thanksgiving meal for people living on the streets.

In 2020, the pandemic limited services the center was able to offer. This year the center served more than 200 people a warm thanksgiving meal.

Kevin Holcomb wasn’t able to spend the holiday with his family this year.

”We didn’t know if we were going to have a Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving or not and this was a nice surprise,” Holcomb says.

However, Holcomb was able to enjoy his day with friends at the veterans coming home center.

“You see a lot of good and bad people,” Holcomb says. “For the most part, homeless people will help other homeless people.”

This year, Holcomb is thankful for his health.

“Back in January I came down with COVID-19 and I was also diagnosed with congestive heart failure and enlargement,” Holcomb says.

Co-manager of the center Pastor Mark Glenn says for many people, the center offers a place of community and chosen family.

“A lot of the homeless are disenfranchised from their family and disenfranchised from brothers and sisters, so this is their family,” Pastor Mark says. “This is their way of saying you are a human being and that you count and your life has value.”

It also offers a safe place to go during the day to stay warm, especially on Thanksgiving.

“A warm meal means a lot, especially when the temperatures drop so quick,” Ricky Dillard Jr. says.

The center is also expanding the services offered.

“We extended our hours because of winter temperatures,” Pastor Mark says. “When the temperature is below 32 degrees we stay open much later. We stay open from eight in the morning to six in the afternoon but on cold weather nights we go to eight so those who are homeless can go to shelters.”

As temperatures continue to drop, Holcomb is asking for people to donate anything they can to shelters across Springfield.

“There’s a free store here we can get clothing at and several of the other organizations have free stores and thrift shops as well,” Holcomb says. “Please contribute. If you have extra clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn in months or years, donate them. People out here really need clothing.”

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