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Our Community Place holds Thanksgiving meal for those experiencing homelessness

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 6:21 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Our Community Place in Harrisonburg gave back for the Thanksgiving holiday by providing a feast for those in need around the community.

Our Community Place started out as a part-time soup kitchen back in 1992, and it’s now open every day of the week and offers meals and other services to the city’s homeless.

On Thursday the center held its 12th annual Thanksgiving feast for anyone in need of a holiday meal. Community center staff and volunteers came together to prepare and host a large meal for upwards of 60 homeless people and others in need.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual meal usually attracted around 100 people. Organizers said the event was a celebration and an important chance to bring the community closer together.

“We also encourage folks while they’re here just to grab a meal and sit down with folks who are homeless to engage them, to provide some social support and interaction with them,” Sam Nickels, executive director of Our Community Place, said.

In addition to those served during the day, Our Community Place also delivered over 20 Thanksgiving meals to low income families across the city earlier in the week.

Our Community Place is continuing to fight homelessness in the Friendly City. It recently purchased a building that it will convert into housing units.

Nickels said homelessness is a big problem in the city and the nature of people’s situations is always changing.

“Our community experiences a fairly significant turnover of the homeless population, so people might be homeless for a week or a month or a year, but typically folks are able to at some point move out of that,” he said.

Our Community Place is dependent on volunteers to help serve those in need. You can learn more about their mission and how you can help here.

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