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Berry Reverses Decision To Not Fund Homeless Thanksgiving Dinner

Berry Reverses Decision To Not Fund Homeless Thanksgiving Dinner

The city reversed its decision to pull the plug on the annual thanksgiving dinner for the homeless.

Mayor Richard Berry’s administration has reversed its decision and has now agreed to sponsor the annual Thanksgiving dinner for the city’s homeless.

The reversal came a day after ABQ Free Press broke the story that the city had pulled its sponsorship of the dinner, which is held at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

The dinner has been organized for the past 15 years by Joy Junction, the city’s largest homeless shelter. Joy Junction founder Jeremy Reynalds said he heard on Thursday from the convention center’s management company, SMG, that the city would again pick up the $6,000 bill for the event after all.

Reynalds said that a city official had initially told him earlier this week that the city wasn’t sponsoring the event this year because Berry’s administration didn’t want to put any financial encumbrances on the incoming mayoral administration. But the dinner is held the day before Thanksgiving in late November, and the new mayor will take office on Dec. 1.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Friday that Berry was out of town when the decision to pull the plug on the dinner was made. Berry told the paper that a city staffer misunderstood his earlier directive that the next administration not be burdened with financial encumbrances.

Reynalds said he was grateful for the administration’s reversal.

“While I appreciate the Berry administration reversing itself, I’m absolutely flabbergasted by the apparent lack of communication by the administration’s staff,” Reynalds said.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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