Updated November 25, 2020 - 8:12 pm
A recent transplant from Arizona, Velda Nix leaned against a gate Wednesday outside the Las Vegas Rescue Mission and held tight to a positive attitude: “Another year to be thankful that I’m still alive.”
Nix, 56, finds little work at the moment as a temp agency staffer or day laborer. And despite still waiting for pandemic unemployment insurance, she said she is grateful that she has a place to stay with her boyfriend and has yet to encounter the coronavirus
“It’s hard for a lot of people,” she said. “Not just me, but a lot of people.”
On the day before Thanksgiving, Las Vegas-based Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop partnered with the rescue mission to provide enough hot meals for more than 500 people.
Donated with the shop’s vendors, the familiar holiday spread included 500 pounds of Butterball turkeys, cranberry sauce, tuna, cheese, cookies and other food.
“As we approach the holiday season, we are so grateful for the opportunity to team up with these incredible partners to provide a delicious feast and companionship,” Heather Engle, the CEO of Las Vegas Rescue Mission, said in a statement.
Engle also encouraged the valley community to give back, if possible, to support the local homeless and low-income population. The mission, a nonprofit Christian organization founded in 1970, generally serves about 30,000 meals per month to men, women and children,with providing shelter to the homeless and addiction recovery aid.
More than 6,000 people on a given night in the region are estimated to be experiencing homelessness, a problem lawmakers fear will be worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. A report in September outlined another concern: Southern Nevada faces a $342 million annual shortfall to effectively address the crisis.
Capriotti’s, which maintains 41 locations in Las Vegas and more nationwide, was honored to offer some help Wednesday, according to company CEO Ashley Morris.
“This has been a challenging year for all of us, but supporting one other and our community through times of hardship has been what has helped us all weather the storm,” Morris said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Nix said she planned to celebrate Thanksgiving at home with her boyfriend, likely stopping at a store along the way to buy soda to enjoy with dinner. “Because I don’t have no money, I can’t buy me no wine,” she said with a laugh.