Winchester Soup Kitchen Scheduled to Close After Thanksgiving


WINCHESTER, Va. - The holidays are a time to gather with family over a large feast, but not everyone is as fortunate. 
The Living Faith Church's soup kitchen on North Cameron Street has been providing meals for the hungry and the homeless for about eight to nine years. 
The building has been on the market for about three years and its time has come where new buyers will soon take over, which means this year may be the soup kitchen's last Thanksgiving meal served. 
The kitchen is opened weekly on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and serves about 90 to 130 people per week. 
"I give them a chance to come in out of the cold, earlier than the other ones. The other soup kitchens only allow them to come in like 15 minutes before they serve. Here, they can come in as early as 8 o'clock," said Bobby Tigney, soup kitchen manager. 
The church has done more than fill empty stomach; it has provided shelter, given permanent homes, clothes and a family. 
Earl Heishman has taken part in the soup kitchen for several years and said he has been a changed person from the church's recovery program. 
Heishman remembers his homeless days just like yesterday. 
"It's cold. It gets cold in the winter time. We go from one day to the next and where you're going to eat and you don't know where you can be," said Heishman. 
Soup Kitchen Manager Bobby Tigney was also homeless in the past, a nightmare he says he chooses not to think too much about. Tigney has been the manager for four years. 
With the kitchen's doors closing soon he says he is afraid for the homeless and may even expect to see more roam the streets.
"A lot more sad people, a lot more hungry people, and its just going to be a sad time," said Tigney. 
Many of their customers are already worrying about where to go once the last meal is served. 
Tigney said, "They just ask do I know where we're going or what's going to happen and I say no I don't but we're going to leave it in the hands of the Lord and He'll work it out for us." 
While the kitchen does not have an exact time frame of when they will be leaving, members of the church say they wish to just enjoy their last Thanksgiving meal next week. 
Pastor Jeff Beard says he is just grateful to have helped the homeless for so many years, and could not be happier to see the positive changes in their lives. 
"Thanksgiving here is a tremendous opportunity to meet and socialize with friends who you don't get to see on the streets," said Heishman. 
The church will be hosting their last Thanksgiving meal next Thursday on the 28th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Living Faith Church. 
Plans are currently being considered to relocate. 


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