GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Over the last 30 years, the Open Door Mission has come along away from a camper on South Street.
On Thursday, the mission’s new soup kitchen and renovated facilities for the homeless were unveiled in a ceremony led by CEO Kim Cook, who has been through it all.
“So now we’re home,” Cook said to a crowd of city residents and officials in the new kitchen of Open Door’s Warren Street headquarters. “This is our home, and this dining room and kitchen mean more, in some ways, than any other ribbon cuttings.”
The new, 5,300 square foot soup kitchen has already served over 1,000 meals since opening around Easter. It got off the ground thanks to a large donation from the C.H. Thompson family, who now have a plaque on the dining room wall.
Work started on the new development last year, after an initial $600,000 price tag skyrocketed higher due to COVID-related complications.
Cook said that without their contribution, the fundraising needed to get the kitchen and dining space built would have taken another two years to complete.
“Imagine a house without a kitchen,” Cook said. “Where does all the activity happen in your house? It’s in the kitchen.”
The kitchen’s previous location, a small building at the corner of Lawrence and Walnut streets, put out roughly 1,600 meals a month, and the expectation is to serve at least that many at the new, larger location. The previous soup kitchen closed after last Thanksgiving.
State Assemblyman Matt Simpson and a representative for Rep. Elise Stefanik both presented Cook with certificates of recognition for the years of work that have gone into the mission.
After the welcome ceremony, tours were guided through the mission’s now-unified home on Warren Street, to see new work done to its food pantry, individual rooms and community spaces.
Next up is a plan to convert the current first-floor office space into a chapel. The offices will be moved upstairs, once work there is finished.
The renovation of the space was led by local companies Hilltop Construction and AJA Architecture and Planning, and was powered in part by grants from Prince of Peace Lutheran Church; Charles R. Wood Foundation; Cloudsplitter Foundation; Putnam Family Foundation; and Sandy Hill Foundation.
See photos from a tour of the facility: