One local man wants to make sure the holidays are special for those living in shelters or on the street. For the sixth year, Gord Pankratz will be hosting a free turkey or roast beef dinner for around 300 people on December 21st.
Pankratz was formerly homeless and struggled with addiction for 30 years. He says he used to use the local soup kitchen and knows how hard it can be for people on the street, especially this time of year.
“God bless the ladies that are [at the soup kitchen] every day that do it but it was more, ‘here’s your plate, here’s your plate.’ I understand that they see the same people every single day so it’s kind of a regular thing for them [but] I wanted to have a day where everybody could just feel spoiled and pampered.”
From 12 to 5 p.m., Pankratz will have a barber and a massage therapist on hand offering their services free of charge. He also plans to hand out goodie bags and treats throughout the day.
“Basically like what most families enjoy for themselves every day but in a big family way. The street community is really a family community and I just wanted them to just feel so special by the time they leave the day.”
Anyone interested in donating money or food for the dinner or helping out for a few hours can call Pankratz at 587-726-0172. The dinner will be held in three parts starting at 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30 at The Oasis Fellowship on 101 Avenue.