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Deep Dive: Road to Emmaus Ministry

Emmaus Ministry is a volunteer outreach ministry serving the poor and homeless on the South Side of Syracuse.

Started in 2009, this charitable organization was originally associated with St. James Roman Catholic Church, but quickly transitioned into an independent 501(C)3 not for profit organization. From their Outreach Center at 127 East Glen Avenue on Syracuse’s south side, they are able to provide services which include: meal preparation and distribution, food pantry, children’s services, hygiene, as well as space for counseling, meetings and ministry. Road to Emmaus Ministry is proud to have been able to provide services continuously, even through the difficulties of the pandemic.

Teitsch-Kent-Fay Architects, P.C. 's relationship with Road to Emmaus Ministry began in the fall of 2020 when Ed King, Diocese of Syracuse Construction Manager, asked Dan to stop down to discuss the potential to add a porch roof over the entry deck to the Ministry with Executive Director Sheila Austin. The work was fairly straightforward, but after Ed left for another meeting Sheila and Dan got talking and Dan noticed a statue of St. Marianne Cope in the facility. As the discussion progressed, the idea came up to incorporate the statue into the porch roof as a welcoming feature for the entry. The resulting porch roof provides protection for clients while they wait for the food pantry, particularly during the pandemic when it was not possible to come into the building. Additionally, it provides the facility with a “presence” in the neighborhood.

In 2021, Road to Emmaus Ministry contacted us again. They had acquired a building, adjacent to the Glen Avenue facility, but facing on Salina Street. Sheila’s vision for this building was to create a space to provide free dental services, as well as free medical care for those in need. Teitsch-Kent Fay Architects, P.C. worked with a professional dental consultant to create dental procedure rooms. We also worked closely with Sheila to develop medical consultation / counseling spaces. We created spaces for youth dental education. The last piece of this project was the support spaces such as entry lobby, check in / out spaces. The renovation was completed in the summer of 2022 and the St. Marianne Cope Health Services facility began offering dental services in August, with other services following.

Teitsch-Kent-Fay Architects’s, P.C. is currently working with the Road to Emmaus Ministry on an expansion project that will double the space available for them to provide community outreach services. The team successfully completed multiple public hearings with the City of Syracuse, and the Building Permit application is currently under review by the City’s Central Permit Office. The new addition will double the program space available, as well as provide five offices for counseling, outreach, as well as space for an on-site social worker. Construction is planned to begin this fall, and be completed throughout the winter. We look forward to seeing the completion of this project and invite you to follow our social media to see updates on this project.

The Road to Emmaus Ministry provides services that go above and beyond what most of us would do to help the public. We are grateful to the amazing staff at the Road to Emmaus Ministry who complete this incredible work each and every day. It is always a pleasure to be able to assist an organization that does so much good for the community.

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