Thanksgiving comes early for Wilmington area homeless

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — For many of us it will be a different thanksgiving this year due to how the storm impacted us. For the area homeless, it’s almost the same as every year, little hope and little options for a place to call home.

First Fruit Ministries comes together to remind those people they are important in the way of a great meal.

Sadly after the meal and the fellowship many of these people will go back home to a street corner or a tent.

It’s been almost 20 years now First Fruit Ministries has tuned up the giving spirit.

“This is a good thing for everybody that’s here,” said William Schaub.

Each person in this room currently is between housing or without a place to call home.
The hungry, and homeless, welcomed for another year to have a Thanksgiving feast over on Vance Street.

“They’ll start asking for it like in October,” First Fruit Pastoer Rick Stoker said.

For many of these folks October was spent still in storm shelters or trying to salvage what was left after the storm. They had little before Florence, and it left them with barely anything.

“Where they were, that camp that they had been in for years doesn’t exist,” Stoker said. “So it’s not only a good time to come their call and try to help them reestablish camps. It’s a good time to try and get them into housing.”

Stoker made that happen for William Schaub. After some time living under a porch, Schaub moved into a home Thursday. Schaub is just happy to see familiar faces this evening.

“It’s really nice to see everybody I knew come back out and I didn’t hear of anybody, none that passed away during the storm,” said Schaub.

Seeing a familiar face, over a three course meal. Without weeks of planning and giving, it would not be possible. More than one meat and three veggies, it’s the multiple smiles that let these people know they are not forgotten.

“It’s worth every bit of it,” Stoker said. “This is a community of people and they come together, they ask ‘whose riding with who’ or ‘what time are you catching up so I can see a buddy I haven’t seen all year’ that’s pretty smart like you said they get to see each other.”

First Fruit is actively seeking new volunteers as it expands medical, housiing and of course feeding initiatives for the homeless community.

Categories: Community, Local, New Hanover