Port Aransas residents spending Thanksgiving on the beach

Even though the men may not have a turkey to roast or pumpkin pie to bake, they are thankful for their ability to give back and camp out on Mustang Island.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - While most are planning to eat their Thanksgiving meals in the comfort of their own home, that's not the case for a couple of homeless Port Aransas men who have been helping the community rebuild since Harvey.

For them, they'll be spending Thanksgiving on the beach, but not by choice.

For two weeks now, the residents have been camping out in tents while they look for work and wait to find a place to live.

They're keeping their spirits up, despite their situation. Even after a devastating event like Hurricane Harvey, people left with hardly anything are still thankful to have their families, friends, and their lives.

"I've got the whole island to myself," Roger Lopez said.

"There's a beach here," Gary Young said. "It's beautiful. You can stay in."

After relocating to Texas to rebuild the cities Harvey devastated, Roger Lopez and Gary Young ended up in Port Aransas taking life day-by-day.

"People have been very kind," Young said. "They've given us tents, and the community's been great."

"The people here help out each other so much and you can feel the warm feeling," Lopez said.

Despite their own liviing situation, the friends are more focused on helping the Coastal Bend recover.

"It's not about me. It's about the community. A lot of people lost a lot of homes, you know, and it makes me sad that, in a way, they lost everything, you know?" Lopez said. "And I'm grateful. What can I lose? Nothing, you know? So I'm over here to help."

Still, living on the beach isn't all it's cracked up to be. Young said just days before, he and his tentmates experienced a sand storm.

"We're just covered in sand and buried like this, and then the next day you just pick yourself back up, go into town and dust yourself off, and still look for work," Young said.

Even though the men may not have a turkey to roast or pumpkin pie to bake, they are thankful for their ability to give back and camp out on Mustang Island.

"Think about people that are in the same situation you are, and you see each other through and you make it in the end, and there's the thanks," Young said. "Being homeless, you never know what could happen. It's not about the turkey or nothing like that. It's about giving thanks that you're alive."

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