LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Mathew Haak has faced many challenges. For the past six years, he’s been homeless in Lufkin.
“I lost my family, but I’ve got, you know I’ve made a lot of good friends out here, a lot of good wonderful people,” Haak said.
Thanksgiving in the Park was created by Greg Sims and Jason Selman in 2017. It was created as a community event to allow agencies and individuals to come together to be a part of helping to feed those in need like Haak during the holidays.
“It was really sad to know that Lufkin had a high population of homeless. You don’t see it, you don’t see a lot of it so that’s what we are here for," said Glenda Taylor, Director of House of Compassion.
With the help of volunteers and generous donations, families were provided with a hot meal, hygiene products and clothing.
“They helped me out a lot. House of Compassion, they helped me get this jacket, they’ve been really good to me,” Haak said.
This event has not only impacted those in need but volunteers like Jennifer Easley, who has dedicated her time to serving families.
“I’ve always had the big family Thanksgiving, and everyone deserves that. So here it’s like everyone is family," she said.
As for Haak, he said he is very thankful this holiday season to have a community that is compassionate to serve.
“Nobody has to do nothing for you, but when somebody stops and takes a minute out of their time and heart just to come over and check on you that’s a blessing," he said.