Serving the needy more than a one day event for Hosea Helps

Thanksgiving tradition of giving back

ATLANTA -- Once again for Thanksgiving, thousands of people joined together to give back to the community and carry out a downtown Atlanta tradition.

In a kitchen is where all the action happened as volunteers came together to provide food plates to feed the homeless. But they wanted everyone to understand that this this isn't just a one day event - they do it every single day.

It feels more like triage in the emergency room. This is how the non-profit Hosea Helps rolls.

Getting turkey, dressing and all the fixings to volunteer servers - and eventually to their special guests - at the Georgia World Congress Center.

"And it means a happy Thanksgiving for me," William Powell said.

He's one of hundreds of homeless people being entertained with gospel music and filled with a hardy Thanksgiving meal.

"Se we will be here for years to come," Hosea Helps CEO Elisabeth Omilami said.

Omilami said the organization has catered to the metro Atlanta homeless community for almost 50 years. 

But she's concerned about it's lack of donations and changing demographic. It used to be mainly men..

"Out of the 35,000 homeless estimated to be in Atlanta metro, 68 percent of them are children 18 and under," Omilami said.

She said this annual event is one of many tools Hosea Helps puts on to highlight the growing crisis. Business leaders and corporations help fund the event.

And it's more than just about a holiday meal.

"That's just one small part of what's going on here today," Omilami said.

Omilami said it's an opportunity to help families looking for employment or needing medical screenings.

"We are providing some basic screening and blood pressure screening, glucose screenings," medical volunteer Frank Jones said. "Well, it's a very great atmosphere here."

Powell said the annual Hosea Helps event feels like home.

"It's a great spirit of Thanksgiving here," he said.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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