Men say they are thankful for shelter

GORDONVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Thanksgiving can be stressful, cooking a big meal, cleaning the house, decorating the table, but some people have much bigger things to worry about, and say they're still thankful.

"I'm thankful for a roof over my head," said LaDon Hamilton.

Hamilton doesn't take that lightly, he used to be homeless. But he worked to create the Amazing Grace Worship Center in Gordonville, an all male homeless shelter.

Hamilton says men can come to the center for a night's stay, or join in a program to work towards getting a job, and getting back on their feet.

"I try to help them out, get them back to where they were before they became homeless," said Hamilton.

"It's a lot better than being homeless, it's pretty cold out there," said Michael Smith, one of the men who has used the shelter.

"If it wasn't for him, I'd still be homeless," said Smith talking about his gratitude towards Hamilton.

"These guys are very thankful that they've got a place to come," said Hamilton.

"I'm thankful that I was given the opportunity to come into this shelter, and change my life," said Larry Woods, a resident who now helps keep everyone in the shelter in line, and on-time for work.

Woods says because of the help from the shelter, the Thanksgiving holiday means a little more this year.

"Because in the past I was more of, I kept to myself, I isolated myself from the world and now we have nine guys here, and now I have someone to share it with," said Woods.

Thursday the residents will have even more people to share the holiday with. Family members plan to cook a meal for the men staying there.

"We don't get too much excitement around here besides the TV," joked Smith.

January 2012 will be the two year anniversary for the shelter. In that amount of time, they've helped more than 400 men. That's close to the entire population of Gordonville.

"It is very rewarding to see guys come in homeless, in need, and be able to feed them, and be able to help them out," said Hamilton.

A lot of guys, wanting to give thanks.

"You lose the feeling of wondering when your next meal is going to be cause you know it's going to be there, you ain't got to wonder if its going to rain, if it's going to be cold, it's going to sleet, its going to rain, you just know the fact that you're in a safe environment," said Woods.

The shelter has a thrift store in Cape Girardeau. Hamilton says it's been open awhile, but plans to have a grand opening in the coming weeks.

Copyright KFVS 2011. All rights reserved.

Related story