VAN NUYS (CBSLA) – Nearly a thousand people, many of them homeless, were given a special Thanksgiving feast in the Valley.
The 10th annual banquet put together by Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission was a Thanksgiving celebration for those who need hope the most.
“It’s good because, right now, I’m in my car. I’m living in my car, so I can’t cook a turkey dinner. So I’m grateful for this. It helps me, and it helps a lot of people, as you can see,” Christopher Ithier said.
Hundreds of people showed up for a hot meal and a sense of family.
This was the third year Ithier attended the event.
“I was struggling in the streets for many years. Struggling, drug addiction, alcoholism. But I’m trying to change – but it’s hard at times. At times, it gets discouraging but I gotta keep moving forward,” he said.
One couple who attended said they survived Hurricane Harvey and have since been on the street.
“Resources and stuff are better here in California than in Texas. We’re already on a housing list, waiting for our houses. Versus in Houston, we would still be waiting for it,” said Merlene Liges.
Then there’s a father who lived on the streets all his life and was reunited with his birth daughter two years ago.
“I had the help of a private investigator find my birth father, who most of his life was living on the streets of L.A.,” said Jenni Alpert “Cami.”
The pair was performing at the event.
“I didn’t have an opportunity to raise her because of my own problems with the law. So she brings me here to Hollywood, this Beverly Hills area – that’s like going to a different planet,” Don Logsdon said.
After dessert, people were given a backpack full of groceries, personal care items, a blanket and more to make their Thanksgiving even more special.