Los Angeles' homeless get free Thanksgiving meals

STORY: The annual meal, held on the eve of Thanksgiving by the Los Angeles Mission, has been a staple in the downtown area for over two decades.

Consisting of roast turkey, mashed potatoes and collard greens, the tradition Thanksgiving lunch has been a hit with the locals.

"I come here every year because I have no family... I enjoy coming here, talking to some of the chaplains and the people that I know that have been here that are so nice that have helped me get back on my feet," said 53-year-old Daniel Rodriguez as he waited in line for his meal.

Although the annual event is predominantly intended to feed unhoused people, anyone from the community is welcome, said Los Angeles Mission CEO Troy Vaughn.

"We put this on every year. It's our annual Thanksgiving. We provide over 1,000 meals today to our friends and our neighbors in the community to really help them to see that they can be loved and served," he said.

69,144 people in the city are experiencing homelessness, according to the 2022 Greater Los Angeles homeless count conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, with many of them concentrated in a bleak and chaotic square-mile patch of downtown known as Skid Row.