'I'm thankful for today': Philadelphia shelter feeds homeless and hungry during Thanksgiving feast

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "My Thanksgivings have always been with family," said Robert Green. "Unfortunately this year, it's not with family. But this is my family today."

Green, 68, worked his entire life and never thought he would struggle with homelessness.

"I'm thankful for the fact I have a place that I'm at while I'm down on my luck," he said. "You don't have to be out there alone. There's help. There's hope. And there's prayer. And all you have to do is want it and it'll be given to you."

That's what Green discovered when he first stepped into the doors at Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission. He may have felt trepidation about asking and accepting help at first. But the warm atmosphere, a place to sleep, and three meals per day made it feel like home.

"They gave me a bed, breakfast, lunch and dinner," he said. "It changed my whole perspective on life itself, because it can happen to anyone."

Green enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast this morning alongside his resident peers. Each plate was filled with turkey, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole and more. Guests were also invited into a tent to relax and watch football.

Despite the festivities, the holiday is not meant to overshadow the need to feed the hungry, homeless, and hurting each day of the year.

"Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission serves about 2,700 unique homeless men every single year," said President and CEO, Jeremy Montgomery. "Many who are coming through our doors have absolutely no family to be able to draw upon. And so today, we get to be family for up to 1,000 people who are going to come through our doors."

Montgomery emphasized the importance of the community's support to continue the nearly 150-year-old ministry.

"We're not a publicly funded shelter. We are 100% open because we have 14,000 donors," he said. "We provide three meals a day, 365 days a year, all year round."

Montgomery encourages anyone who sees a homeless individual around Philadelphia to encourage them to seek help at Sunday Breakfast or one of the various support systems in the city.

To learn more about Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission and how to get involved, visit their website.

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