FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Broward Health Community Health Services today hosted its annual Healthcare for the Homeless Thanksgiving Luncheon. Dozens of Broward Health staff and Health leadership provided a delicious meal and some holiday cheer for less-fortunate members of the community.
"This event is an opportunity for us to give back and be able to expand beyond our daily health services to make sure that the community receives all they need," said Tiana Blount, associate vice president, ambulatory operations, Broward Health Community Health Services. "This is something we can do to give our patients a little bit of a hug along the way."
Community Health Services estimates that as many as 600 individuals were fed at this year's Thanksgiving Luncheon. Leadership from across Broward Health gladly stepped into the role of server and gave repeated praise for the Healthcare for the Homeless program, which helped coordinate the event.
"It is an honor to work with our great team at Broward Health Community Health Services as we serve our community," said Andrew Klein, chairman of the North Broward Hospital District. "We were proud to be here today, the 16th time we've held this tremendous event."
One volunteer particularly moved by the luncheon was Walter Horlacher, a veteran who served in the military for 33 year and now works with the facilities department at Broward Health. He realized that many of those who were being served were also veterans.
"After serving overseas, I can empathize with what our vets have experienced, but it blows my mind that a lot of the homeless are veterans," said Horlacher, who served in the Iraq surge post 9/11. Yet he was grateful to serve at the event because "many homeless look forward to this each year. They don't have family. We are their family. This is their family Thanksgiving gathering."