Windsor shelters serve up food and fellowship

Windsor's downtown shelters were bustling on Monday, as they prepared and served Thanksgiving meals to the city's homeless and in need residents.

Hundreds of people get meals at the Downtown Mission and Street Help

Volunteers at Windsor's Downtown Mission were busy on Monday, preparing and serving a Thanksgiving meal. (Stacy Janzer/CBC)

Windsor's downtown shelters were bustling on Monday, as they prepared and served Thanksgiving meals to the city's homeless and in-need residents.

Julienne Rousseau has been volunteering at the Downtown Mission every Monday since April. She's a part time student and mother of four children.

"There's a lot more people that are lacking in basic needs than I ever expected,it's actually been quite eye-opening," she said. 

Rousseau was there on Thanksgiving because she feels "it's important to give back."

The mission was expecting about 300 people to come by for a meal. 

Over at Street Help, another Windsor homeless centre, volunteers were quite grateful that all of their food supplies had been donated. 

"We haven't had to go shopping for a single item for this meal which is incredible for us because our bank account has shrunk so low, we just weren't used to feeding that many people," said Christine Wilson-Furlonger, administrator at Street Help.

Furlonger said she put out a call on Facebook for pies since they had none, and she's been overwhelmed with the dessert donations since then. However the centre still needs sleeping bags to accommodate all the people who come through. 

The centre served about 300 people yesterday, and anticipate the same number or more today. 

But Furlonger said that it's not just the homeless that need a place to go. She received a call from an older gentleman with no place to go on Thanksgiving.

"That broke my heart when I got that call," said Furlonger. "Holidays are that time of year where people really need fellowship, they really need some place to go where people are welcoming them with a smile and wanting them to be there, wanting to be a family." 

Street Help administrator Christine Wilson-Furlonger said the centre did not have to buy a single thing to put on Thanksgiving meals this week. She was grateful for all of the donations. (Stacy Janzer/CBC)