Christmas can be a struggle for many families, but for the homeless, it can be an incredible challenge.
One charitable outlet in the city hopes to brighten things for them.
The Midnight Mission in downtown Los Angeles had their annual Santa’s Village event on Christmas morning.
People queued for up to two days in the hope of getting a warm meal and a toy for the children. According to the LA Times, volunteers were distributing items of clothing to keep the patient families warm during the night.
There were around 2,000 children spending their Christmas Day at the Mission. They were entertained by veteran singer Dick Van Dyke. The showbiz legend led a choir of homeless people known as the Urban Voices Project. Joey Weinert, the mission’s volunteer manager said that “He’s always been a part of what we do here. It’s wonderful.”
Across the L.A. area, Christmas morning brought numerous other communities together as well. At Union Station Homeless Services in Pasadena, hundreds of volunteers gathered to share a meal with those with no place to go during the holidays. At Hollywood United Methodist Church, in an annual event co-hosted with Temple Israel of Hollywood, children gathered to take photos with Santa, and volunteers expect to provide food, blankets and toiletries to more than 1,000 people.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said a 9 a.m. Christmas Mass for inmates gathered in the chapel at the Men’s Central Jail. The archbishop also said a 12:30 p.m. Christmas Mass in Spanish at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
For those flying on Christmas Day, Santa Claus appeared at Los Angeles International Airport, where he handed out stuffed animals, candy canes and ornaments. Airport police canines were also greeting children and weary passengers with tail wags and holiday cheer.