SACRAMENTO -- Gina Fields doesn’t take much for granted, especially opportunities that don’t come around often for a family living in a shelter.
Nine-month-old Giovan, 4-year-old Gino, 5-year-old Ginelle and a mom working hard to provide.
"There was a time when my kids weren't with me, so to be able to sit down with them to have Thanksgiving is definitely a blessing," Fields said.
Blessings abounded Tuesday as the staff at Loaves and Fishes served a record number of people in need for their annual Thanksgiving lunch. More than a thousands people were served 300 turkeys, 200 pies and all the trimmings in between.
According to the 2017 Point-in-Time Count, a survey of the homeless population, the total number of homeless people has increased by 30 percent since 2015 and people living outdoors on the street, in tents, cars or RVs has increased by 85 percent to 2,052.
Loaves and Fishes attributed the increase to the rise in homelessness overall in Sacramento County.
Some like Fields are regulars. Others came for the very first time.
"Just because folks are homeless doesn't mean they deserve any less," said Noel Kammerman, executive director at Loaves and Fishes.
On the way out, there was something else to be grateful for.
Gloves and hats for the road. Gina says small kindnesses like these are key to her rebuilding her life with her kids.