WASHINGTON D.C. (7News) — On this Thanksgiving Day, Dennis Hinnant is taking a moment to look back at how far he’s come.
"I'm thankful that God woke me up this morning and gave me a chance to see another day above ground,” he said. “I was caught up in the world – drinking, drugging, looking for love in all the wrong places. I made some bad choices and bad decisions. I came to the conclusion my life was out of order. I lost myself.”
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Hinnant, a DC resident, also experienced homelessness. He wanted help and a fresh start. He found that at Central Union Mission where he enrolled in the Fresh Start program.
“Upon entering the program, I was able to gain employment,” he said. “I got me a home church and getting ready to enroll in school.”
Hinnant also received housing, dental assistance, and eye care. But that’s not all.
“And a primary care doctor,” he said. “Upon coming into the Fresh Start program, it put me on the right track as far as my goals and operating in my purpose. And now here I am, one of the best days that ever happened to me.”
Central Union Mission is serving up warm meals for more than 350 people in need this Thanksgiving and leading up to the big day, the organization gave away more than 1,000 turkeys and hams and other provisions --- serving more than four thousand families in the DMV area this Thanksgiving.
“All of our partners really stepped up as they do every Thanksgiving,” said President and CEO of Central Union Mission Joe Mettimano. “We are 100 percent privately funded, so individuals, corporations, foundations, churches make this happen today and we a just so thankful for their support.”
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Central Union Mission is so much more than a shelter and a place for people to get a warm meal, as Mettimano explains.
“We are trying to solve homelessness,” said Mettimano. “The way we do that is provide support for people to get through addictions, education, job training and job placement all aimed at getting people off the streets permanently.”
Hinnant is sharing his personal story to remind us all it’s never too late for a fresh start.
“As I walk up and down the streets of DC, I see a lot of people in need,” said Hinnant. “I see a lot of homeless people out there sleeping in tents and under the bridges with nowhere to turn to and nowhere to go. If you are serious about turning your life around, the mission is here to help.”