Mayor Michelle Wu stood alongside Senator Ed Markey, State Representative Aaron Michlewitz and Bruins’ defenseman Charlie McAvoy. While the event featured these notable figures, the annual occasion specifically focuses on feeding the homeless.
It’s a tough, very emotional day,” said Executive Director Lyndia Downie. “Everybody else is home today and if you’re here at Pine Street Inn, you’re not home and people really feel it.”
Pine Street Inn is New England’s leading organization dedicated to ending homelessness. In the city of Boston, it is extremely difficult for low-income people to find affordable housing.
“We are absolutely seeing a level of despair and frustration,” Downie said. “If you’re trying to get out of here, it’s really hard to find an apartment.”
Downie added that people who live at the inn would have to work at least 80 hours a week to afford the cheapest apartment in Boston.
“It’s like musical chairs,” she said, “There’s more people that need it and not enough of it.”
Pamela Muise would love a place of her own, but is grateful to at least spend the holiday with her friends at Pine Street.
“It would be great to be with family but unfortunately, due to circumstances, we’re not able to be with family, so we make the most of it.”
Muise also said she is grateful not only for the Thanksgiving meal, but also for “a warm place to stay, which a lot of people don’t have, a bed to sleep in and three meals a day.”
This year, Pine Street prepared more than 2,000 traditional holiday dinners, each featuring turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, fruit salad and pie.
In addition to those having dinner at the organization’s headquarters in the South End, the more than 850 tenants living at Pine Street’s housing locations will celebrate Thanksgiving in 35 residences throughout Boston and Brookline. Pine Street’s outreach teams will also deliver holiday meals to men and women on the streets.
WBZ’s Suzanne Sausville (@WBZSausville) has more: