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Charles makes a Turkey dinner for fellow vendors on the streets

by Cole Merkel

Street Roots vendor Charles Yost started cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the Street Roots vendors yesterday afternoon at around 4pm. This morning, he woke up at 5:30 to put the turkey back in the oven to warm it up.

To complete the meal, Charles also steamed fresh green beans with bacon, redskin potatoes with cheddar cheese, a large pan of stuffing and turkey gravy from scratch by creating a roux sauce. He transported the meal to Street Roots in aluminum containers and the black push cart that he has decorated with past issues of Street Roots.

The food was donated by two of Charles' regular customers who made Charles many lasagna dinner while he was experiencing homelessness. They wanted to make sure folks still living on the streets would have access to a proper Thanksgiving meal. Charles got into housing last December.

"Like last year, the people who bought it were home for Christmas and asked if I could cook and pass out some lasagna dinners so on Christmas morning I was selling papers and they brought the food down and I passed it out. It was the same this year. Tuesday afternoon they called me while I was at Portland State University and asked me to meet them at Safeway. She'd already done the shopping and donated all the food. They had to leave in the morning and I told them I'd help them out again by making dinner." Charles worked in restaurants and kitchens for several years before settling in Portland, hence where he learned to cook for an army of Street Roots vendors. Charles had been homeless on and off more than three decades before getting clean and sober last year. He is one of Street Roots most loved vendors. Read his story here.