Thanksgiving takes on new meaning for residents of East Texas shelters

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – While many East Texans recover from eating too much on Thanksgiving Day and spending time with loved ones, to some the word “Thanksgiving” has a much different meaning.

Those who are trying to get their lives back in homeless shelters.

As Longview shelters hold their traditional Thanksgiving dinners for residents, the context of “thank you” and its meaning is much more complicated.

“All the people here and they’re broken. They are so broken. And when they come in, they hope someone will listen to them. These women had no place to go, we have no place to go, ”said Dorothy Barns, a resident of“ House of Hope ”.

For those who live in shelters, the meaning runs deeper. A second chance. A chance to take control of their lives.

For Jhamonte Milton, it’s not about family or food, it’s about starting from scratch.

At 23, he came to the Hiway 80 rescue mission.

“It was drug addiction, co-dependence. I needed help with a lot of things. Help me with a new life. We have time to look back on our life and see where we went wrong, ”he says.

The reasons vary for people in this situation. Drug addiction, the loss of a job, the family tragedy among them.

“My husband passed away after more than 40 years of marriage. And I didn’t know what to do. I lost everything, ”says Barns.

“I was pregnant, I had my baby here. We stayed here for a year and got up. Now I have my own place and I defend here at the House of Hope, ”says Alisha Childress.

For most of us, Thanksgiving is about family, prosperity, and health. But most will never know what it’s like to lose everything and just want to have a healthy, happy life.

” Do not abandon. Because once you’ve given up, you’ve already lost the battle.

I’m happy for the second chance I’ve had and so grateful, ”says Milton.

Copyright 2021 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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