Shelters provide hot meals, housing for homeless during record cold temperatures

BOSTON (WHDH) - Several charity organizations and local leaders helped prepare and serve dinner meals to those without a warm meal this Thanksgiving.

At the Pine Street Inn, they’re carving turkeys, scooping up stuffing, and adding all the trimmings to serve up Thanksgiving dinner to thousands in need.

“I’m grateful that they’re still committed to doing this and helping us enjoy the day,” said Bernard, one of the guests at the inn.

The Inn is not only providing hot meals for people who came to the shelter, they’re also carrying meals to people living on the streets.

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara is helping out, even though he’s injured. He carried in pies from Mike’s Pastry.

“I’m just very glad that we can make a lot of these people who don’t have a place to stay or family to be with, make them feel important and talk to them and brighten their day,” Chara said.

Pine Street also provides help with job training and finding permanent housing.

“Sometimes it’s health care related,” said Lyndia Downie, the president and executive director of Pine Street Inn. “People have been very, very sick and while they might have insurance, they lost their jobs, they can’t pay their rent, so there’s a rebuilding on the employment side and health care side.”

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said the number of homeless people in Boston is dropping.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Walsh said. “We put on extra beds tonight because of the cold, we’ve housed 1,600 people in the last four years in permanent homes.”

At Rosie’s Place in Boston, they were serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner to those in need.

“I would say we’re at capacity today, so that would be close to 200 women who have poured through our doors first thing this morning,” Michele Chausse, the director of communications at Rosie’s Place, said.

The shelter helps women find jobs and permanent housing. Those volunteering their time said today is the best day.

“Rosie’s Place is near and dear to my heart,” Andrea Campbell, Boston city council president, said. “I grew up in Roxbury and I used to come here as a little girl with my grandmother when she was struggling at moments, so to come back and serve, that’s what Thanksgiving is all about.”

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