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Wednesday April 23rd 2014

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The Real Reason for the Season

Standing outside in the biting cold, Streets and Lanes Ministry were making their weekly rounds today, handing out lunch to the area’s homeless.

Today’s rounds were a little bit more special, however, as bright stockings filled with necessities were handed out before lunch.

For the past five years Cathy Harris, president of Streets and Lanes Ministry, and her loyal volunteers have been collecting and stuffing stockings for the local homeless.

“It’s a highlight for a lot of folks,” she said. “Often it’s the only Christmas present that many of them receive.”

Even in an unstable economy, Harris said they have more than enough to hand out, which is good thing since the crowd was larger than last year beside the Brentwood Assembly of God.

People from all walks of life gathered for lunch and stockings. As an added bonus, Harris had extra jackets, gloves and even candy to give away.

For those who don’t have a place to call home, the holidays can be a very trying time.

“It kind of just leaves me with an empty feeling,” said Rosemary. “At least I’m not in the mall shopping.”

Rosemary had a place to live, one of the perks of her job. But, when she lost her job, she lost her residence.

“I never would’ve dreamed that I would end up like this,” she said. “But it does make me appreciate what I do have.”

For homeless families, parents are stuck with the difficult task of watching their children go without this holiday season.

Michelle, her husband and two eleven-year-old kids have been living in a car for three months now since her husband lost his job. This is her first encounter with Streets and Lanes.

“This is just wonderful,” she said of the Ministry’s hospitality. She calls her son to grab one of the jackets Harris is holding up.

Financial problems have plagued the family before, but never around Christmas.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” she said as tears welled in her eyes.

Michelle puts on a strong face for her kids. She is optimistic and appreciates the services available in this area.

“We’ll hold it together,” she said. “We were blessed to stay inside Waterfront Mission last night. We’ll keep calling Loaves and Fishes. We’re still very grateful.”

STREETS AND LANES MINISTRY

DETAILS: 324-1951 or streetsandlanesministry.com