Thanksgiving takeaway event for homeless held in Hub City Wednesday

Warm meals and supplies were given to those who attended the event
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 7:13 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - This week is National Hunger and Homeless Week. It’s a time to bring awareness and help those who need it most.

USM‘s Institute for Disability Studies hosted a Thanksgiving takeaway event for the homeless at Vernon Damher Park Wednesday afternoon.

Antionette Turner was one of those individuals to attend the event. She’s been living in a local Hattiesburg shelter for about two weeks.

“We are in the shelter, and we are homeless,” says Turner. “It makes me feel helpless because I’m not in a place, you know, and I’m going to need a house right now.”

Turner attended the event with a friend and was able to get a warm meal and other supplies like toothpaste and deodorant.

“And that’s one reason why we are here but for the community to help us with housing and things that we need,” says Turner.

Event coordinator Demetra Bates spoke about how it felt to hear those who attended the event show their appreciation for what the institution did for them.

“At the end, whenever I see all the people that are eating and all the supplies and the hygiene items and the smiles and people just say ‘Hey, thank you. I appreciate you,’ I didn’t realize, ‘Okay, it’s not even about me,’ and I can go a night or a couple of hours without rest,” says Bates.

Turner says she’s thankful for events like this because people need it.

“And a lot of people that’s out there homeless that’s sleeping on the ground and have nowhere to go. And it’s getting cold. They don’t have any family there’s nobody to turn to,” says Turner.

Bates says that’s why she put on the event, for the people who need it most.

“I think it’s the reward in knowing that we are here for a bigger purpose and a greater reason and it’s not all about us,” says Bates.

All the food was donated by local caterers, and all the hygiene and personal items were donated by members of the community.

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