30,000 people attend annual Christmas Eve feast in Houston

HOUSTON – About 30,000 people packed into the George R. Brown Convention Center Saturday for the annual Christmas Eve feast.

Now in its 38th year, the feast is organized by City Wide Club of Houston and offers a hot meal to anyone who walks in the door. This year Ebonye Coleman and her 9-month-old son showed up for the first time. “It’s really nice that they do all this on Christmas Eve for everyone,” Coleman said.

Coleman is a single mother, who is currently unemployed and taking classes to create a better future for her family. “I’m in good spirits,” Coleman said. “My son is here with me and that’s all that matters.”

Though many people come for the hot meal, they stay for the camaraderie. “I like being able to interact with everyone else and just show people that just because you have somewhere to stay doesn’t mean you're better than anyone else,” Angel Frederick said. She was homeless for about four years, until recently moving into her own apartment. 

Besides the food, the feast offered live music entertainment, free gifts for children and clothing for all ages. Everything is made possible by donations. “It helps the community know that the city of Houston stands behind them in their efforts to make a good life and a good living for themselves,” said Stephanie Lewis, of City Wide Club of Houston. “It's sad that many of us are only one paycheck away.”