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Port Arthur Hospitality Center needs help year around, not just on holidays
PORT ARTHUR- by Lauren Huet
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, many people are already looking forward to a big turkey dinner. Catholic Charities Hospitality Center in Port Arthur wants to make sure the less fortunate can look forward to it too. Not only is the Hospitality Center planning a big Thanksgiving meal, but they also serve a hot meal every day of the year.
For many who come to the Hospitality Center, it's their only hot meal of the day.
"For a year and a half, we've been sleeping in trucks," said one visitor, Faye Lynch Labure.
Labure comes to the center every day, she says it's one of the only places she feels wanted.
"When you're unwanted, you're like a dog out on the street. Unwanted. Lost," said Labure.
Here at the center, people say they feel welcome.
"To be able to be blessed by the people who are serving it for us, they go out of their way for us every day and that means a lot to me," said Shane Hite. "Coming from where we come from, it means a lot to have somebody give us some food every once in a while."
Another visitor, Juvendeno Cerbantes, says the Hospitality Center is like a savior to him.
The Saturday coordinator of the Port Arthur Hospitality Center, Ramon Lopez, has been with the center for fifteen years. He says it would not survive without support from the community.
"We kind of go up and down as far as supplies, it will be good for a while, especially during the holidays, people seem to think of the homeless and the less fortunate, and that's when donations go up," said Lopez.
However, the center is not just open on the holidays, it's open every day of the year.
"So we ask the community to keep us in mind all the time, not only just on holidays but throughout the year," said Lopez.
Lopez says the center always needs food, cleaning supplies, cooking utensils, serving utensils, chefs, and volunteers.
One volunteer, Josue "Joshua" Cruz, works a night shift every day of the week. After work, he heads over to the center to serve in the morning.
"It feels good. There's no words to explain the way you feel. It just comes from the heart," said Cruz.
Help from the heart, hope for the needy, and food for the hungry, Thanksgiving or any day of the year.