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Homeless Thanksgiving At Junction Park2 Min Read

Homeless Thanksgiving at Junction Park2 min read


This issue is part 2 of a series. The first one is here:

I had been walking my two dogs around the downtown area of Boulder Creek and past Junction Park for a few weeks.

Every day, I passed an old, dilapidated Dodge van with an elderly man sitting in the front seat. He was obviously homeless.

A friend had recently suggested to me that I talk to homeless people instead of ignoring them. So, one day, I came up to his van and introduced myself.

We talked briefly, I told him I walked past him every day with my dogs and just wanted to say hello. He was very receptive and friendly. I also learned that he also had a dog who lived in his van.

Over time, I got into the habit of talking to him briefly every day. I learned about his background and current situation. 

He really loved my dogs and it became a ritual for him to give them a treat every day.

These daily conversations continued for a long time and in the process, I got to meet several other people in the park. One of them, Chris, ended up doing some work for me (but that’s another story).

Thanksgiving was approaching in 2022, and I was wondering what my wife and I should do for the holiday.

And I thought, “How can I have a nice Thanksgiving meal when all these homeless people have nothing?” 

I went home that afternoon and told my wife that I wanted to put on a Thanksgiving meal for all the homeless people in the park. She was all-in, and since it was less than a week before Thanksgiving, I went into action.

I designed and copied several flyers, and gave some to Steve and Chris to distribute. Then I put a notice on the site asking people to contribute a dish.

The response was amazing. People from the Boulder Creek community made promises to bring a dish, and everyone followed through. 

On Thanksgiving day, we cooked two turkeys, and more than a dozen people brought potatoes, stuffing, and veggies.

About forty-five people showed up, and we had a great time. In 2023, we did it all again, with another great response and even more people – with enough take-out boxes for everyone.

What did I learn from all of this? A number of things: 

  • When you have an idea to help people, don’t hesitate, just do it!
  • People love to make a contribution and a difference.
  • All you need to do is ask people. You may be surprised by the response.

So, Thanksgiving in Junction Park will now be an annual event.

I encourage you to do one simple thing: Talk to homeless people. It may change your life (as well as theirs).

Next week: Steven and Chris get wheels

Cheers, Robert


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