Red Lake Feast Pays Tribute To Homeless
If you’re hungry, the Red Lake Homeless Shelter has you covered. The National Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day usually takes place on December 21st because it’s the first day of winter and the longest day of the year.
“Around this time of year it gets very cold and some of the people that are homeless tend to pass away due to the fact that they are homeless,” said Red Lake Homeless Shelter Executive Director Jordan May.
This is the 11th Annual Memorial Feast and Fire for friends and families to pay their respect to those affected by homelessness.
The menu featured turkey, pork roast, bread and dessert. The Red Lake staff started prepping the meal last night and it was open to residents, red lake band and community members.
“Community members coming in for a free meal and that’s why we have the feast,” said May. “All the food that was provided out there today was all received through donations.”
Minnesota native Arlie Wipf has worked as an advocate for almost eight years and knows what it’s like to experience homelessness firsthand.
“I’m paying back some of what was given to me in the past,” said Red Lake Advocate Arlie Wipf . “I’ve been helped by strangers in the past even just right out on the street.”
Arlie also cooks, provides advice and tries to make everyone feel safe and comfortable at the shelter. He knows it can be tough for some to spend Christmas in a shelter.
“This time of year is kind of depressing when you see people in here close to Christmas, New Year’s, you know it’s the holiday season the time for giving and sharing.”
“It’s hard to see some of them come in here and spend Christmas with their children and stuff, so I do the best I can to help them.”
At Red Lake there is a 60-day maximum stay and the average length of stay is 15 to 20 days. After that Red Lake tries to provide resources for clients to find housing. Jordan says it’s a lot of hard work but the work is worth it.