Omilami. “We’re very thankful.”
Omilami also emphasized that they did not want to offer something that was dilapidated, but desired something respectable for the people attending. “We wanted to have something very nice and Thanksgiving turnout to be like a five-star hotel event. When our special guests come, they’ll say, oh man this is nice. This is a nice place to come in.”
What may have been an inordinate loss with Turner Field, the Georgia World Congress Center was a welcome surprise for those who came out.
“I think the Tom Murphy ballroom, they really appreciated it. You know if you’re homeless, been on the street, working hard, you don’t have time to just go and see what the Georgia World Congress Center looks like. That was a first time for a lot of people to even be up in a place like that,” said Omilami. “That was a beautiful sight.” This year, the HFTH served its largest Christmas crowd to date.
Founded in 1971 by Elisabeth Omilami’s father and civil rights activist Hosea Williams, the Hosea Williams Feed the Hungry organization also operates as family-in-crisis care center, in addition to feeding the homeless. When Hosea Williams passed away in 2000, they took the helm of the organization and expanded its operations. In serving families, Omilami says their goal is to prevent entire families from becoming homeless, and that doing so supports community stability.
“That’s really what it’s about, to keep these families from falling through the gaps and becoming homeless,” he said. “Mom loses her job, dad loses his job, grandmama gets sick, the baby is sick. It just takes a little thing here and there to us, but that’s enough to rock that family right into a crisis. That’s what we’re finding what is happening.” Omilami said he is optimistic about their efforts to help put an end to what he calls “the continuous crisis syndrome – where every time a family looks up, they’re in some kind of crisis.” He says the important thing is addressing the root of the problem and stopping the “revolving door.”
Omilami also said that he’s sometimes asked why Hosea Feed the Hungry is always asking for money. He said that for such a small organization, the work HFTH accomplishes is equal to the work done by multimillion-dollar agencies.
“They got the budget to back it up,” he said. “We don’t get those kinds of funds.” Ironically, he said, some of the larger service organizations refer individuals to Hosea Feed the Hungry. “We’re like, you guys got the money. Why are you sending them to us, can’t you help them? So it’s a funny situation when you start doing this work. You really see it totally different,” said Omilami. “So that’s what we find ourselves in, like David