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Roanoke Rescue Mission serves Thanksgiving feast for the homeless community

Roanoke, Virginia – Serving up savory and sweet dishes to go have people like Reginald Brantley licking their lips this Thanksgiving.

“You know that they got a good meal today on Thanksgiving here,” Brantley said. “And I’m missing it. I’m ready to go eat it now.”

The Roanoke Rescue Mission was prepared to serve nearly 400 meals today to the less fortunate by car or socially-distanced inside.

Though Thanksgiving is a time for the family to gather, Kevin Barry, the community outreach manager at the Rescue Mission, said sometimes they are the only family the homeless have.

“The reality is a lot of people that come here they don’t have a family to go to,” he said. “And we are their family. They sleep here. They spend time here.”

That includes people like Brantley, who has spent the last five days sleeping at the homeless shelter.

As Brantley watched the volunteers hand out meals, he said he could not wait to sit with the people who put him on the right path.

“We need to make sure we have an option for them to sit down and have a good meal with the ones that they know,” Berry said.

Brantley said the Rescue Mission encouraged him to move forward.

He now plans to move to Richmond for a new job in construction and to start school.

“Good people they try to tell me I can do it,” he said. “So that’s what I am going to do. I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna do my dream.”

Gayle Gordon

As a college student, making an extra buck now and then was very important. I started as a part-time reporter since I was 19 yo, and I couldn’t believe it might become a long-time career. I'm happy to be part of the Virginian Tribune's team.

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