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Tampa homeless man says it's tough to find job due to his age, perception of him

Posted at 2:42 PM, Nov 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-28 17:20:19-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Several people showed up to Tampa's First Presbyterian Church this Thanksgiving.

Eloy Cypress showed up with a smile on his face.

“They’ve made us feel wanted,” said Cypress.

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Many showed up to enjoy a hot holiday meal courtesy of Metropolitan Ministries.

“It makes us feel welcome in the community," Cypress said.

Eloy says after years working in construction, he is unemployed and homeless. He says his age makes it tough to find work.

“I just fell through the cracks of society. But I’m not giving up. I’m not a quitter,” said Cypress.

Eloy says he’s tried to find a job, but he says there is a perception that those who are homeless are not reliable.

“I don’t want a handout. I want a helping hand,” he said.

Metropolitan Ministries is giving a helping hand on Thanksgiving in the form of turkey with all the trimmings. Organizers and volunteers spend hours to make it all happen.

“It really reminds us what we have to be Thankful for and that we are all one community. When we come together to serve and be served it’s really how we build community," said James Dunbar with Metropolitan Ministries.

Eloy is confident he’ll catch a break soon.

In the meantime, he’s thankful for the meal and a new sleeping bag he’ll use each night on the streets.

“I don’t have any bad habits. Any limitations. Just my age and somebody out there might want to see me and give me a chance,” he said.