Dallas LIFE Hosts Turkey Fry for Homeless

turkey fry
Dallas LIFE hosted a turkey fry on Tuesday | Images by Noah DeGarmo/The Dallas Express

Dallas LIFE hosted a turkey fry on Tuesday as hundreds of volunteers prepared Thanksgiving food for people experiencing homelessness.

“Today is Dallas LIFE’s 8th annual turkey fry where we will be frying 100 turkeys to care for the guests that stay with us,” executive director Bob Sweeney told The Dallas Express on November 21.

As previously covered by The Dallas Express, Dallas LIFE is a local homeless recovery center that works to restore the lives of people experiencing homelessness through a program emphasizing accountability and responsibility.

“We need around 60 turkeys to feed the guests, and then we have a few donors [who] purchase them,” Sweeney continued. “And we have some former graduates who come back and get a turkey, plus pie and potatoes and all the trimmings.”

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Cornerstone Community Church provided the turkeys while over 200 volunteers came to Dallas LIFE’s campus to fry and prepare the turkeys and decorate the facility for the holiday celebrations.

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Dallas LIFE’s food service director, Robin Murawski, is a former program graduate. She told The Dallas Express that before Dallas LIFE, she “wasn’t very pleasant or a good person” but was completely transformed through the program.

“I was baptized and saved in the chapel for the first time at 50 [years old],” she said. “I believe that God uses this place … so, when Dallas LIFE was in need of somebody to come and work here, there was no way I could say no.”

The recovery program at Dallas LIFE focuses not only on the material well-being of clients but their spiritual growth as well.

“Dallas LIFE wishes all of our caring, concerned citizens a wonderful Thanksgiving, and may we all be truly grateful for the houses we live in, the food that we have, and the privilege we have of giving back to the less fortunate,” Sweeney said.

Many elements of Dallas LIFE’s program, such as its emphasis on responsibility, mirror the “one-stop-shop” model of Haven for Hope in San Antonio, where supportive services such as job training are provided on the same campus as housing. This model has been credited with a 77% reduction in homelessness in San Antonio, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Meanwhile, the need for an effective homeless recovery program in Dallas is dire as residents say people experiencing homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling are among their top concerns, according to recent polling.

In a previous interview, Sweeney told The Dallas Express that Dallas LIFE sees 90% of its graduates never return to homelessness.

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