Hundreds share meal at "Jesus Was Homeless" Thanksgiving Dinner

Published: Nov. 24, 2016 at 8:51 PM CST
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Hundreds of people from all walks of life shared a Thanksgiving meal at the 9th Annual Jesus Was Homeless Thanksgiving Dinner.

"I just want to thank them for the good dinners they serve every Thanksgiving," Bill Muzzy said.

About 700 guests and 300 volunteers came out for dinner.

"I like the good company and I like to meet a lot of people," Bob Lafaire said. "You know, I'm homeless myself, a homeless disabled veteran."

He says a warm meal and new friends make Thanksgiving one of his best days.

"I hear a lot of people telling me just how bad they have it and I tell them, well, they can go in the woods and live in my tent," Lafaire said

Lafaire is one of more than about 1,500 people who are homeless or living in motels in Branson.

"If you don't have transportation, you have to walk and so you want to be close to your job and so people are living in the motels to be able to do that," Jesus Was Homeless Executive Director Bryan Stallings said.

The event pairs guests up with volunteers called "table companions," who sit down together to share the meal and their stories.

"Just because I'm the companion and I may have more funds than they have, they're not any less than what we are, so it's very important to treat them as friends," Tim Thompson said.

Many people do become friends and, through this organization, help each other to get back on their feet.

Families could also get their pictures taken at tonight's event and choose items from the free thrift store.

Jesus Was Homeless serves meals each week and are always needing more volunteers.