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The Rescue Mission’s Alice C. Barber Day Center and Kiesewetter Emergency Shelter Opens in Syracuse

Rescue Mission

The Alice C. Barber Day Center will be a hub of hope for individuals in need in Syracuse. Beyond having their basic needs met, individuals can be connected with employment opportunities and housing, mental health screenings, case management, veteran assistance programs, spiritual care and other services. The Kiesewetter Emergency Shelter contains eight dorms and bathrooms, and 183 beds.

For the first time in their history, the Rescue Mission will provide overnight emergency shelter to women in Syracuse in this facility. This 24-hour facility will integrate day center and emergency shelter.

Rescue Mission Shelter Space
Rescue Mission Shelter Space

This building was originally a recreation center, opened in 1991 thanks largely to a gift by Raymond Kiesewetter, a faithful friend and contributor to the Rescue Mission over many years.

Alice C. Barber was the sister of Dr. Lucille Leach, Dean of Women at SUNY Cortland. Dr. Leach bequeathed an endowment as a legacy to her sister, Alice Barber, in honor of the challenges she met in her life after losing her sight.

Health Services Wing
Clients physical and/or mental health challenges is often a critical initial step for those experiencing homelessness to move forward with their lives. This medical wing serves as the office for Rescue Mission Health Home Coordinators, who will connect Rescue Mission clients with accessible insurance and primary care providers, supported by St. Joseph’s Hospital.

This wing also provides exam rooms for visiting healthcare partners to serve clients, including St. Joseph’s Mental Health Services, Upstate University Hospital Podiatry interns, ACR Health and Keuka College nursing students, as well as any future providers looking to partner with the Rescue Mission.

Employment and Education Resource Center
Vocational case managers work individually with clients to determine their goals and needs in the Employment and Education Resource Center.  For some, it is assistance with job searches, resumes and interview preparation. Others seek literacy training, enrollment in a high school equivalency degree program, or guidance with higher education. The Rescue Mission helped 283 individuals find employment during their 2014 fiscal year.

Activities Room

Rescue Mission Activities Room
Rescue Mission Activities Room

This flexible space will be the venue for art therapy, life skills classes and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, among other activities. To make services more accessible to clients, this facility was designed with the intention to bring a variety of community services and support directly to clients.

Fitness Center
Cardio and weight equipment provide the opportunity for guests to remain healthy and active, and to engage in structured health and wellness programs.

Clothing and Laundry
Those experiencing homelessness often find themselves with few clothing items, and limited options for laundering and transporting clothes. The Rescue Mission provides shelter and day center guests vouchers to our on-campus Thrifty Shopper store, where they can select clothing for themselves. Their first-level client laundry room provides access to washers and dryers.

Access to Meals
The Rescue Mission serves three free meals a day every day of the year at our Food Services Center across the street at 148 Gifford Street. Shelter guests and other men, women and children in our community who might otherwise go hungry consume nearly a quarter million meals from this center every year.

Rescue Mission Tech Station_Ipads
Rescue Mission Tech Station with Ipads

Tech Station
A bank of iPads makes internet communications and social media available to the Rescue Mission guests. In addition to Ipads, there are work stations with personal computers available for their use.

Project cost was $7.2 million to renovate a dated recreation center into the day center and emergency shelter. It is located at 122 Dickerson Street, Syracuse, NY  13202.

Major funders and donors:

  • New York State’s Housing and Homeless Assistance Program provided a $3.4 million grant through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

Other funders include:

  • Federal Home Loan Bank of New York
  • The Alice Barber, Lucille Leach Endowment Fund
  • The Allyn Foundation
  • The Central New York Community Foundation
  • The Dorothy and Marshall Reisman Foundation
  • The Fred L. Emerson Foundation
  • The George and Kathryn Buchholtz Fund/CNY Community Foundation
  • The J.M. McDonald Foundation
  • The Lockheed Martin Employees Federated Fund
  • Funding also came from a number of individual gifts.



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