With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Adam McKaig — chief, cook, and bottlewasher for Adam’s Angels — is looking for a few good pies. Maybe more like a couple hundred. McKaig is preparing for this year’s Thanksgiving, at which he estimates 500 homeless people, their friends, family, and supporters will show up to enjoy the harvest holiday at the Santa Barbara Veterans’ Memorial Building along Cabrillo Boulevard. Last year, McKaig said, the number was 400.
“We feel there’s a bigger need this year,” he said. With the drop in COVID cases, McKaig elaborated, there’s less sense of urgency behind social distancing and other precautionary measures.
Supplies for most of the meal — turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes — are mostly in hand, he said. Not so, however, for the pies.
“If you have an extra pie,” he stated, “bring it by.”
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McKaig said pies could be dropped off weekdays until 3 p.m.; if necessary, he said, they could be dropped off by the front door. Preparing and carving the turkey will be the vets themselves.
Adam’s Angels, a quasi-guerilla group of volunteers, is also collecting clothes for homeless people; they are offering eye exams and prescription glasses, as well, he said. In addition, they will be assembling and distributing hygiene kits for people living on the streets. Included in these kits will be shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary wipes, and feminine hygiene products.
McKaig said the need remains acute; 14 percent of all students enrolled at the Santa Barbara Unified School District, he said, have been categorized as homeless. By that, he said, they either live in a car, in a shelter, or on a neighbor’s couch or are otherwise doubling up. Later, he said, Adam’s Angels will be launching a drive for coats and jackets for when the temperature dips. In the meantime, he said, the group was in the process of buying brand-new sleeping bags. “There is a cold snap,” he said.