PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – In this cold weather, volunteers with the Union Gospel Mission are out and about making sure anyone who’s homeless has warm drinks, food and supplies overnight.

“See how they’re doing, offer them help if we can offer them help, we offer food to them, something warm on nights like this,” volunteer Larry Perl said.

Things like coffee or cocoa, blankets, hygiene kits, and a full meal.

“A year and a half ago, I was eating these sandwiches,” volunteer Antonio Wiliams said.

He once received this same help himself and is now part of the search and rescue team giving back.

“Finally decided one day to turn my life around, get off the streets, get off drugs, and it feels good to give back to the community,” Wiliams said.

He knows firsthand that it’s these nights when the rain’s falling and the fire’s going that this kind of help really means a lot.

“I like ‘em, I love ‘em, they’re awesome,” Ted Messer said, as the volunteers helped him out. “I see ‘em mostly once a week. I get coffee, sandwiches, chips, got dog food.”

Messler said this is his third winter with his dog Diggity on the streets of Portland.

“I’m from Florida, so yeah, we’re used to sun all the time,” Messer said.

He’s one of about 75 people the crew serves each night.

“It’s emotional, actually, for most of us, to see that you can help them goes a long way,” Perl said.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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