Volunteers deliver meals, blankets to homeless

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Emily Longnecker/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Hundreds of volunteers were in the Christmas spirit Friday and reached out to those in need.

Under a bridge downtown, it was a cold, wet Christmas. For Meisha, who lives under the bridge, the holiday is brighter thanks to candles, blankets and a new tent.

"It's not fancy right now, but it's my home," said Meisha. "I was blessed with a tent yesterday, and you know I was out of the wet last night."

"We just decided to come down today being its Christmas and share the love," said Kathy Albright.

With that love, there was some hot chili and coats from people like Kathy Albright and volunteers with Meet Me Under the Bridge.

"Some people might think we're enabling. I don't believe we are. I believe we're sharing the love of Jesus and that's why we're here. It's his birthday," Albright said.

"Christmas should be everyday. It should be in your heart. It shouldn't be on the calendar," said Mark Foster, another volunteer.

Foster spent Christmas Day delivering hot meals to people like John, a homeless man.

"This is my little place right here," John said, gesturing to the spot under an overpass where he sleeps.

"He shouldn't be forgotten. I used to be homeless and I can understand what he's going through," said Foster.

"It makes you feel like somebody really cares out here," John said. "It's not the food. It's the generosity."

Some of the hot meals came from Country Kitchen, which cooked over 1,700 pounds of food Friday. It's their third year doing this and it just keeps on growing.

"I think that everybody is rich in heart because they wanted to come out and share what they have," said Cynthia Wilson, Country Kitchen. "I think it's going to grow every year. It has grown."

The need for outreach like this isn't going away either. The Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention of Greater Indianapolis says there are almost 1,500 homeless people on the streets or in shelters in the city this year.

"I used to have a job and food and a regular paycheck like everybody else," John said.

"I'm a retired school teacher and I've got my Ph.D," said Meisha. "Would you have thought? I'm almost 60 years old. Would I have ended up down here? No."

But they are there not only on Christmas, but the other 364 days too.

Meet Me Under the Bridge - Find out how you can get involved.