St. Francis House in Boston served hundreds of hot meals to members of the city’s homeless community Tuesday.
Preparations at the day shelter on Christmas Day begin early in the morning when head chef Seth Green arrives at 3:30 A.M.
The facility serves up to 600 hot meals daily to people who have nowhere else to go.
St. Francis served about as many people when the shelter opened its doors for Christmas Day to provide a place where people who don’t have anywhere to spend they holiday can enjoy a hot meal.
That includes people such as Tosha Boswell.
“This year has been really rough for me and so me coming over here I’m having a nice dinner with people that I know instead of me being alone for Christmas,” Boswell said.
About 50 volunteers, including Nicole Guercia, spend Christmas serving the shelter’s guests.
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“Just saying hello to someone is probably more powerful than you think it is and making people that aren’t often seen feel seen,” she said.
That’s part of the reason Boswell keeps coming back.
“So I come here to help me with resources, get me to talk to counselors about what they can do to help me,” Boswell said.
“Whatever we can do to share the meaning in the spirit of Christmas with people and even in their darkest hour, let them know that they are loved,” said St. Francis House President & CEO, Karen LaFrazia.
Christmas Day guests were served breakfast and lunch.
Before their midday meal, they enjoyed a prayer service led by Cardinal Sean O’Malley.
“Christmas time is a good time for people to focus on the problems of homelessness in our community,” O’Malley said.
Boswell hopes to have a home for her and her three children next year. Until then, she knows she’s not alone.
“Sometimes in life, it can be real hard and you don’t know where to go and this place right here is a place that you can go,” Boswell said.
Each year it costs $10 million to run St. Francis House. Most of those funds are private donations, which the shelter accepts on a continual basis.