Chicago woman feeds the homeless for July 4 in honor of her sister

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Florence Pleasant, who died of last month at age 60, spent every major holiday barbecuing with homeless communities throughout Chicago.

"She knew that everyone deserves a holiday, even if they're homeless or not," said Sims.

Sims has decided to carry on the family tradition after, beginning on this July 4. With donations and help from family and friends, Sims brought her barbecue to two locations today.

"I'm making chicken, ribs, pork chops, you name it. Polish sausage, hot dogs, steaks, burgers, spaghetti, baked beans," Sims said.

Yourlonda White lives at one of the intersections that Sims attended today. White remembers Pleasant fondly.

"I knew Florence," White said. "She used to come and feed us, give us blankets and whatever we needed: clothes, shoes, whatever we needed. She was one of the women that used to, you know, take care of us."

Johnny Bryant also lives at the same location, and said he's especially grateful for the donation during the pandemic.

"I'm just praying that COVID will be over with, that everything will be over fully," Bryant said.

Sims said that she plans to take over her sister's work and lead these barbecues five times per year for the rest of her life.

"I feel real great because it's in honor of my sister. I hope she's looking down on me, and as long as I've got breath in my body, I'll carry on for her," Sims said.

This article was updated on July 5, 2020 to reflect that the cause of death for Florence Pleasant remains unconfirmed.
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