Union Gospel Mission serves Thanksgiving meals to homeless in Portland

Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 12:54 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Communities are giving back this holiday. Union Gospel Mission served Thanksgiving meals to those experiencing homelessness.

UGM served about 300 meals on thanksgiving this year — the first time it’s been indoors since the start of the pandemic. People in need had the choice of taking it to-go or sitting down for a warm meal.

We’re at a different place with COVID than we were a couple of years ago,” says Courtney Dodds of Union Gospel Mission. “We think it’s nice for them to be able to come in, sit for a while, be somewhere warm, have a little bit more of a holiday celebration.”

Each guest received a plate full of turkey, stuffing, mash potatoes with the works, some veggies and pumpkin pie.

“I’m very grateful, it means a lot to me. It’s nice that places like this do for people like this that don’t have no family or no where to go,” says Jay who received a meal.

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They feel wanted they feel comfortable they feel loved and they know that they can actually talk about anything. They receive prayer - that’s the best part - that’s what I really love,” says Curtis Bogan, Volunteer.

Many people volunteered to help pass out meals. But Curtis has made it a tradition for 15 years.

“I’m seeing people that I have not seen in years,” says Bogan. “Getting back to having that intimate relationship with them as they come in and sit down and we get to have conversations.”

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UGM has been serving food all week and when it’s all said and done, they will have served around 1,000 meals.

“It’s important to get food every day but the holidays are special. Well, it used to be family time but over the years the family has gone cold and judgmental. So, sometimes it’s good to get away from that and also that sometimes I make choices that take me away from my family too,” says Floyd Davis Pittman, received a meal.

Floyd and Jay say the one thing they’re thankful for this year is being alive.