MIAMI (CBS4) – Good Friday is celebrated by people in different ways. In Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, the homeless are being treated to foot washing traditional to Good Friday, and a ‘Thanksgiving in April” meal which is not.

The Miami Rescue Mission and two Broward Outreach Centers held a block party for the homeless and hungry families expected to serve more than 2 thousand people before the day ends.

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Miami Rescue Mission Director Antonio Villasuso says they’ve seen an increase in the number of people who need help. In fact, he says the face of the homeless is changing.

“We contribute that to the economy, loss of jobs and foreclosure in our area. They are asking for more food than ever,” he said.

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The washing of the feet is traditional, “patterned off of the washing off of the feet what Jesus did for his disciples on Good Friday,” said Director of Development Marylin Brummitt. “If you are homeless you are on your feet walking. Your feet are most abused and usually the least cared.”

The mission offered other free service to help the homeless, in addition to the hearty meal and the foot care. There are free haircuts, showers, clothing, and health care services. There is a children’s center where children can spend the day play and receive Easter baskets.

Brummitt also says these events allow the homeless to come off the street as part of the Rescue Mission’s program. So far she says 15 people have signed up to receive long term assistance.

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