The face of homelessness is changing in Nashville. That's the word to those on the front line. Experts say women and children are among the fastest growing population among those with nowhere to live.
But on a day when many celebrated time with family, those without were greeted with a warm smile at the Nashville Rescue Mission during an Easter celebration.
Wayne Massongill says he looks forward to such holiday meals at the mission. It's a place he's called from for the last three years and plans to soon leave.
"I'm kind scared but I know God will be with me," Massongill said.
But his fears left for some time as he shared an Easter meal with others and volunteers at the mission.
"A lot of people here, they're just so genuinely sweet," said volunteer Samantha, who did not want her full name shared. "It's not just the people who work here, it's also the people that come here."
Chris Wilson, with the Nashville Rescue Mission, says many who come to mission don't have connection to their family. So he tries to get families to help serve up the meal.
"I like bringing in families as much as possible because holidays, as far as our culture goes, I think recognizes them as big family days," Wilson said.
Wilson says these days the homeless community is made of people who have faced tough times.
"There's more people on the street that don't fall into the stereotype of maybe struggling with the drug or alcohol addiction, but maybe just lot their job, couldn't get work, burn through their assets and ended up on the street," Wilson said.
But at this Easter meal, how you ended up at the table doesn't matter. Volunteers serve up a tasty tradition of homemade ham and all the sides.
It's a chance to celebrate the spirit of Easter, which Massongill considers a blessing.
"They get to see what's going on in our lives and we can see what's going on in their lives," Massongill said.
Over three days, volunteers at the rescue mission served up more than 4,000 Easter meals to anyone who wanted to join.
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Tuesday, September 2 2014 7:39 PM EDT2014-09-02 23:39:10 GMT
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