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Gathering all over Metro Detroit for Thanksgiving meal

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

As Metro Detroiters gathered to count their blessings and partake in the traditional Thanksgiving meal Thursday, others found refuge in expected and unexpected places.

The Detroit Rescue Mission, long a haven for the homeless, was preparing turkey and the trimmings for a dinner crowd that was expected to reach 100 people. The downtown shelter, which serves lunch and dinner to the homeless daily, typically feeds about 60-80 people, said Lawrence Brown, a Detroit Rescue Mission resident specialist.

“But it’s the holiday, and some of the shelters are shut down so we’ve been getting the overflow here,” Brown said.

At Wayne State University, President M. Roy Wilson and first lady Jacqueline Wilson welcomed more than 50 students and other guests to their an annual Thanksgiving dinner at the historic Max Jacob House on the main campus.

Meanwhile, 25 miles northwest of the city in Northville, George Dimopoulos and his staff of 50 were feeding the homeless, downtrodden and anyone without a place to go.

People lined up outside the door at George’s Senate Coney Island, where a free buffet featured turkey, filet mignon, ham, potatoes, sweets and more.

One woman came with her four grandchildren. Another family came because they did not have enough food at home. Single people dotted the dining room, Dimopoulos said.

Though he has been feeding people every year on Thanksgiving, and Easter, too, this year was his biggest year yet. Last Thanksgiving, he served about 80 families. But the breakfast and lunch crowd exceeded 150 people, and Dimopoulos expected hundreds more before he closed his doors.

Though he had slept only for a few hours, Dimopoulos said he felt good.

“We’re here for a short time,” he said. “If everybody helped each other, this world would be a lot better place.”

kkozlowski@detroitnews.com