Hiway 80 mission serves homeless
More than 100 people without homes or means to have a Thanksgiving meal gathered for the Hiway 80 Rescue Mission in Tyler's first Thanksgiving meal at the West Erwin Church of Christ Benevolence Center.
"It's very charitable and shows a lot of love and a lot of heart," said Harold Hughes, a guest at the event who currently is homeless. "It's good for the community. It helps a lot of people out because it gives people a place to go and fellowship.
A lot of people don't have family or a chance to be around good, loving people."
Hiway 80 is a satellite program modeled after a successful facility in Longview of the same name.
"Right now, we're family," said Eric Burger, executive director of the Longview organization, as he addressed the group before the meal. "No matter what your problems are, right now we're here to enjoy good food and each other."
About 30 volunteers helped serve at the event.
"Working with the homeless is enjoyable," said Victoria Gronberg, member of Glenwood Church of Christ. "They're so gracious and grateful for a hot meal. The homeless population is growing in Tyler, and this is needed. I've never seen a crowd like the one here today."
Eric Mundell, another guest at the event, lives in a tent in an undisclosed location. When asked what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he paused and shook his head.
"I'm just thankful to be alive," he said.