October 8, 2018 10:16 pm

Alouettes players give back at the Welcome Hall Mission for Thanksgiving

Montreal Alouettes players in the Welcome Hall Mission kitchen, Monday, October 8, 2018.

Global News

They say that when you’re down on your luck, you should try to help someone else — and that’s exactly what some Alouettes players did for Thanksgiving.

Putting their loss against the Calgary Stampeders aside, they focused instead on giving back at the Welcome Hall Mission.

“We just lost a game today, but I mean tonight, this is our victory,” said Alouettes kicker Boris Bede. “We are all here, you see these people smiling.”

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One of those smiling faces was Yianni Floros. The mission gives him a roof over his head while he gets back on his feet and on a day like Thanksgiving, it also gives him a sense of family when he’s so far from his own.

“But I’m not by myself, I have these people,” Floros said, referring to the people at Welcome Hall Mission, something he says he’s truly thankful for.

Floros and the 350 men that took part in the festivities had a traditional Thanksgiving meal complete with live music.

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They were also served carnival treats like popcorn and candy floss to sweeten up their day.

“We’re trying to give people who come in our doors the experience of family and get a warm nice meal and have a special occasion,” said Sam Watts, CEO of Welcome Hall Mission.

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According to the City of Montreal, there are more than 3,000 homeless in the city.

Even though the city has a homelessness strategy with almost $8 million dollars attached, Watts says the problem is actually growing.

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“The problem is that as soon as we get one new person into the house, we find that there’s at least one new person coming into the emergency shelter,” Watts explained.

It’s an issue for which the Mission says they’re trying to find a solution.

But before they head back to work, they took a moment to celebrate what they have: “a day of life, my health, great food, great company, great sports guys — what else could I ask for?” Floros said with a broad smile.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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