The Syracuse Area Rescue Mission opened the doors today on a brand new and improved facility, which can benefit residents and improve their futures. It’s left many of the current residents in awe.
“This is an upgrade. It's excellent and I love it. Am sure that every body will come here have their hot chocolate and coffee. I know I am," one patron said.
"It's sort of like a resuarant atmosphere. It's good. It's good to show how they care about the homeless and make a change in the atmosphere," said another.
"It is very nice, its state of the art like almost too nice for a homeless shelter," said another visitor.
The Clarence Jordan Food Service and Culinary Education Center tripled in size, and has state of the art kitchen equipment. They serve up to 700 meals a day. Officials say families had to split up during meals because of overcrowding. Center volunteer Robert Butler says now residents will have a better dining experience.
“When you see a lot of heads hanging down, [I might say] 'pick your head up, how are you doing today?' Throw a little extra on their plate...they're really gratified about it. So it makes me feel really good and for them to come in here today, they been peeking through the window. They are going to be in awe when they come in.”
Rescue Mission CEO Dan Sieburg says he wants the center to be a place to serve residents… and get the tools they need to put their life back together.
“Now we are going to have a place where we can serve people meals with the highest level of diginity and respect. People who have hit tough times, who are homeless or living in poverty while also training people for jobs and careers in the food service industry,” said Sieburg.
Sieburg also wants to hear from restaurant and catering businesses that are willing to give opportunities to those who come through the training program. The $ 5.8 million dollar project took four years to complete, and was funded by community donations.