Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless (HFTH) has helped the hungry and homeless in Atlanta for more than 40 years, but this year, the nonprofit organization has uncovered a new phenomenon.
“Many women are living in cars with their children,” said Elisabeth Omilami, chief executive officer at Hosea Feed the Hungry, a Christian international aid organization, which was founded by civil rights activist Hosea Williams and his wife, Juanita.
“Because Atlanta has a small number of shelters that will take boys over 14 or they separate them and put them in a shelter with men, rather than separate their families or stay in shelters which are perceived as dangerous, they just stay in their cars,” Omilami said.
This year’s annual Christmas Dinner will be held from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center on International Boulevard in Atlanta.
But like its other events throughout the year, HFTH provides more than just a hot meal. They will have access to showers, hair stylists, toiletries and other necessities.
“Just like Thanksgiving, Martin Luther King Day, Christmas, they will see a doctor each day to get their vital signs checked. They will get their hair done; they will get new clothing. They can enroll their children in the national ID program. The children will get toys and their school supplies for the year, or the semester at least. They can meet with lawyers for emergency legal aid and see a case manager or counselor.
“We encourage them strongly to follow up and come to the office and become members. We stay with you all year long,” Omilami said.
HFTH expects to serve more than 10,000 working families and individuals in need over the holiday season.
Since its founding in 1971, Hosea Feed The Hungry and Homeless Food (HFTH), a Christian international aid organization, distributed more than $3.0 billion in food, clothing, medical, educational, toiletries, furniture and cleaning supplies to 16 Georgia counties, three states and to the Philippines, the Ivory Coast and Uganda.
The goal, Omilami said, is to help the homeless become self-reliant and to get the public to realize the homeless represent a much broader group of Americans than the stereotypes would have us believe.