By LISA CAPOBIANCO
Inside St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Bristol’s kitchen stands a stainless steel preparation table that is designed for a better work flow.
This table is just one part of the shelter’s kitchen renovation, which was completed at the end of June. The renovation also included a new stove, a new floor, four sets of LED lighting, a new exhaust, fire doors, and a fire suppression system.
The project was made possible by a state grant from the Nonprofit Grant Program through the Department of Housing.
“Everyone loves it,” said Maintenance Director Kevin Brown. “This is something that has been long-awaiting,” said Brown.
“The oven was starting to really fail, and it didn’t have a hood for exhausting fumes,” said Phillip Lysiak, executive director of St. Vincent DePaul. “The kitchen was cramped.”
Built in 1959, St. Vincent DePaul’s facility was originally a convent for nuns at St. Ann’s Parish before it was bought in the mid 1990s to be converted into a shelter.
Lysiak said the kitchen was difficult to accommodate 25 people in the shelter as well as the former Women with Children Transitional Living Program there. The kitchen was originally designed for 10 nuns.
“The original kitchen was set up essentially for nuns to live in here, and we’ve expanded it to a great many people using it as one time,” said Lysiak.
Lysiak said the shelter’s cook, along with volunteers who help with operations of the kitchen, are especially happy with the completed renovation.
“It’s just set up better,” said Lysiak. “Now the kitchen is adequate to serve the shelter.”
Located at 19 Jacobs Street, St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Bristol promotes effective community responses to the housing and emergency shelter needs of low and middle income groups in the city of Bristol. The shelter recently subcontracted with Community Health Resources, which provides services for a Rapid Rehousing Program.
“That’s just beginning,” said Lysiak, adding that eight cases are currently being worked on. “Instead of housing people here in the building, we hope to get people from the shelter into their own housing in the community ASAP.”
Lysiak added that monetary donations benefit the shelter’s operational expenses.
“All of our grant sources to not fund enough to run the entire shelter and operations, so we’re always looking for funding to supplement that,” said Lysiak. “Without it, we can’t operate.”
Comments? Email lcapobianco@BristolObserver.com.