EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- Catholic Community Services provides a helping hand this Christmas for dozens in Eugene-Springfield, stepping up in a new way this holiday.
Volunteers for Catholic Community Services took Christmas to enhance a longtime holiday tradition, responding to a growing need.
For several years, the charity has been running a program called Christmas Coffee, a simple gathering with free coffee and cookies to celebrate Christmas with the low income and unhoused in Lane County.
Tuesday, volunteers stepped their game up, adding an entire dinner with more food for folks to take with them as well. This is the first time they've done a large dinner.
Volunteers and donations helped make it all happen. The help is in response to growing demand. Catholic Community Services says more people have used its food box program this year than ever before.
"We're going to be here for people who need our help, not just on Christmas Day but throughout the rest of the year. And so this is just a way of kind of celebrating on this special day but we're going to be here to help people for their food, clothing or housing or other things we've got going all year long,” says Tom Mulhern, Executive Director of Catholic Community Services.
“A lot of people here seem to really appreciate it and that's what I like to see!" said Danny, a man living in Eugene. “This, from last year . . . This really surprised me.”
Catholic Community Services helped feed at least one hundred low income or homeless people today with its Christmas Coffee.
Trying to help the homeless this winter, the City of Eugene is working on funneling more than $200,000 into several different local housing programs. Also, the Egan Warming Centers are now able to open when the temperature is low enough. Finally, a Eugene builder is working on making small Conestoga huts to be placed at more car camping sites throughout Eugene.