SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Thanksgiving came early for hundreds of homeless people.
Hours before 300 hungry people filled up on a Thanksgiving feast, the men in the Rescue Mission's recovery program were hard at work.
"I love it. I'm really happy I get to do this," said Nathan Casey.
No detail was left out. Tables were decorated and even the rolls were warmed up just before being served.
As the men did the cooking, the volunteers did the serving.
"I just have to tell you on days like this, we've been doing it for years, serving somebody else, it makes you feel good," said Peter Jordano.
Debra Gonzales was one of the first people to sit down and enjoy her food.
"They've done a lot for me so I thank the Rescue Mission for everything," she said.
Everyone got a plate filled with what they wanted, and it was all homemade. The men in the recovery program prepared everything from turkey, mashed potatoes, ham, green beans and stuffing.
"The food is delicious here and I thank God they have a place where we can go eat," said Mark Smith.
For many of the homeless men and women, this is the only festive meal they will have this Thanksgiving.
"A splendid feast for everybody," said Thomas Scott.
For 14 years, Scott and his wife Rosie have come to the Rescue Mission for Thanksgiving and they said they are glad to share it with friends.
"You are going through the same hardships as they are. And it's good, like we're a family. That's the way I see it," said Alicia Valenzuela.