NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Most of you are surrounded by loved ones during this Thanksgiving holiday, but for hundreds in deep East Texas, that isn't their reality.
"The real joy is in Christ. Jesus puts joy in our hearts, we do this because that's what he wants us to do," June Gentry, the executive director and founder of Godtel ministries said.
Home is where the heart is, and where many East Texans spend the holidays. For those without a place to call home, the holidays can be pretty hard.
"It's a very depressing time of the year," Gentry said. "When you don't really have family members to stay with."
Thanks to places like Godtel Ministries, hundreds of deep East Texans have a place to call home.
"For number one, I'm thankful that I'm alive, I'm thankful for Godtel, and them housing me knowing the predicament I was in," Timothy Lacey, a Godtel resident said.
Three weeks ago, Lacey lost his job, and from there his world took an unfortunate turn.
"I couldn't deal with my emotions and feelings because my mom died," Lacey said. "So I came here, and Godtel opened their doors to me. They didn't turn their back on me. I lost my place, and I had no place to go."
Gentry said helping people in the community is something that drives him the most.
"It makes me have a real genuine since of accomplishment when I see people who, if there was no Godtel here today they would be out on the streets," Gentry said.
With the help and support of Godtel ministries, Lacey is planning for the future.
"I'm in between saving my money and getting me another place, but right now I'm thankful for where I'm at," Lacey said.
Lacey started a new job and says in 20-6 he plans on going back to school.
Godtel Ministries provided a Thanksgiving dinner to their Lufkin and Longview residents.