Boston’s Pine Street Inn serves thousands of Thanksgiving meals for in-person dinner

The Pine Street Thanksgiving tradition was sidelined by Covid-19 for several years, but for the first time since the pandemic hit – the tables are being set for an in-person dinner.

“It changes the building, it changes how people interact. It sends a message to the guests hey we haven’t forgotten about you. We know it has been tough,” said Lyndia Downie the Pine Street Inn President.

Melissa Cobb has been experiencing homelessness since 2015 – after she says addiction derailed her life. She says sitting down for Thanksgiving as a community gives her hope. “Just being around people that I know truly love and care about me,” said Cobb.

Mayor Michelle Wu and other city leaders, including Senator Ed Markey, helped carve 120 turkeys to feed thousands in the greater Boston area.

These elected leaders know more concrete work needs to be done. “Every person who can stabilize in permanent housing with support and case management and resources, it just eases the strain on the beds that are truly needed for emergency basis,” said Wu. “Obviously these are difficult problems,” said Markey.

Senator Ed Markey says they are trying to carve out more federal money to help communities all across the state. “A vision without funding is a hallucination. We have to find the funding in order to make sure the programs are in place to deal with it,” said Markey.

Pine Street Inn says housing is the key and right now the director says they house twice as many people in permanent housing compared to shelter beds. “The market is never going to build housing for people who are this poor and have and are struggling sometimes with many other complicated issues,” said Downie.

The Pine Street Inn says they are also doing outreach, serving meals to people who do not feel safe coming indoors.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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