Over 160 guests attended the Community Thanksgiving event held by Decade to Doorways on November 19th at the Chester County Historical Society to raise funds for around 30 organizations from the area that are working tirelessly to help end homelessness.
Attendees of the event included donors, service providers, county officials, concerned citizens, as well as individuals experiencing homelessness. All of them gathered to support the County’s ambitious community-driven plan for the entire area to end homelessness by 2022.
“You could really feel the unity and enthusiasm,” said Nate Hoffer, the Executive Director at the Good Samaritan Shelter. “It was a great event to bring us all together and make us feel like we are part of something bigger in Chester County.”
The keynote speaker for the evening was Nikki Johnson-Huston, a tax lawyer in Philadelphia, who spoke about her experiences of growing up homeless. Her message conveyed how she got to her current position thanks to the help from the organizations in the community that provided her with much-needed support.
During the evening, a moving video made by Cabrini College’s Capstone Media Creation Course was screened to share the story of David, Joy, and Francesca, three people in dire need of help. The video emphasized the fact that one organization is not enough to end homelessness, and that all other community organizations have to work together in order to successfully prevent and end this issue.
During the evening, Interfaith Housing Assistance Corporation of Chester County, the non-profit organization helping homeless single parents with dependent children in Chester County, won over $2,300 for local grocery stores.
Mistress of Ceremony for the event and Decade to Doorways Administrator, Lauren Hutzel, reminded everybody that every night over 600 people experience homelessness in Chester County, ending the evening by assigning three tasks to all of the attendees: tell someone, give something, and get involved.