Carney Cleaning Services serves homeless on Thanksgiving Day

Sharon Carney, owner of Hyde Park-based Carney Cleaning Services, fixes a plate to serve to guests attending her seventh annual free Thanksgiving Day community meal event, Thursday, Nov. 23, at Boston Market, 5300 S. Blackstone Ave. Volunteers Darryl Simmons (left) and (right to left near Carney) Johnny Wilbon, Roger Corral, Darisus Jankaskas and his 5-year-old son Nathan help serve at the event. – Owen M. Lawson III

Staff Writer

Sharon Carney, owner of Carney Cleaning Services, 5330 S. Harper Ave., hosted her “7th Annual Feeding of The Homeless” event on Thanksgiving Day Thursday, Nov. 23.

“I’ve been in business for 25 years,” said Carney about her motivation to feed the homeless. “I’ve been feeding the homeless for six years straight and passing out up to 60 to 70 [free] pair of boots with socks and belts.”

During the event, which took place at Boston Market restaurant, 1424 E. 53rd St., Carney and several volunteers served ham, turkey, dressing, macaroni and cheese, string beans, sweet potatoes, gravy mash potatoes, cornbread and pies. They also distributed free boots, free socks, and free belts to the homeless community again this year, according to Carney.

Carney said several organization teamed up with her during the event including, Providence Hospital, who provided free doctor appointments for homeless individuals on site, the Safer Foundation, who provided rehabilitation opportunities on site, Bank of America, whose employees donated an undisclosed amount, Boston Market, who provided free space for Carney and the Chicago Housing Authority, who helped sign up several homeless individuals for housing on site.

“Seven people went straight from dinner to rehab,” said Carney about the services provided at the event. “After several conversations with the Chicago Housing Authority, explaining that most homeless individuals aren’t able to use computers, they stepped up and signed up four [homeless] people for housing on the spot.”

In addition to her desire to help those in need, Carney said she would love for more businesses from the Hyde Park area to get involved when it comes to the issue of addressing homelessness. Carney also said that her future goal is to team up with several local business owners to discuss how they could provide food and shelter for those in need.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity,” Carney said. “We as a people walk pass these individuals every day. We have to remember that these individuals are homeless and not invisible.”