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Father Joe’s Hosts Thanksgiving Lunch, Dinner Services For Homeless Residents

Volunteers serving Thanksgiving lunch at the Paul Mirabile Center hosted by F...

Photo by Mike Damron / KPBS

Above: Volunteers serving Thanksgiving lunch at the Paul Mirabile Center hosted by Father Joe's Villages on Nov. 27, 2019.

Father Joe's Villages got an early start on Thanksgiving on Wednesday for residents who are homeless in San Diego.

The nonprofit organization hosted a Thanksgiving lunch around 10:45 p.m. at the Paul Mirabile Center at 16 15th St., with an estimated 1,800-plus homeless families, children and other residents attending.

A dinner service will be held at 4:45 p.m. at the Kroc Center, located at 1501 Imperial Ave.

Students and faculty with the nonprofit organization's Freddie Evarkiou Culinary Arts Program prepared turkey, stuffing and other traditional holiday menu items for attendees at the lunch service and will also do so for the dinner service at the Kroc Center.

Reported by Priya Sridhar , Video by Mike Damron

Lane Lister has been living in one of Father Joe's shelters for two months and has been a participant in the Culinary Arts Program. He said the chefs started preparing around 600 pies more than two weeks ago and have been busy cooking over 70 turkeys, gravy, mashed potatoes, and casserole since Saturday.

"I'm grateful for having shelter, feeding the homeless and being with everybody here," He said.

Father Joe's Villages President and CEO Deacon Jim Vargas gave blessings before the lunch meal service and is expected to do so for the dinner service.

The organization regularly shelters more than 2,000 people each night and serves as many as 3,000 meals each day. Information about the organization can be found at my.neighbor.org.

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