ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - For many, Christmas is a day to spend with family. But for Albuquerque's homeless population, going home isn't an option.
George Williams never thought it would happen to him, but he hit on hard times and has been homeless for years. Now instead of spending Christmas with his family, he has Christmas brunch at The Good Shepherd Center.
"It's very good, very much," Williams said. "I've been coming every year and next year, I hope not to be here because I'm going to get my own place."
On any given day, The Good Shepherd Center dishes out 400 to 500 meals to the homeless population. Volunteers packed the kitchen on Christmas morning, preparing a special brunch with eggs, sausage, hash browns, and dessert.
"It was the nicest thing in the world," Oscar Ronquillo said of the annual Christmas brunch. "It was better than being out there under a bridge or something. It was so nice, so I come back."
Oscar Ronquillo owes his life to The Good Shepherd Center. About a decade ago, Ronquillo was living on the streets. Through a program at The Good Shepherd Center, Ronquillo got back on his feet. Now he comes back to volunteer.
"It's hard to be out there," Ronquillo said. "Look at the people out there. It's hard. It's drains your life. The Shepherd gave me back my life so I come here and volunteer Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a lot of Saturdays."
Another group of volunteers came from Nahalat Shalom, a Jewish congregation, to help hand out Christmas Cheer.
"It's wonderful just to be able to help and move forward helping people because you never know when you might need it," volunteer Maria Apodaca said.
The Good Shepherd Center was founded in 1951, and has served Christmas brunch since.