The place where hundreds of homeless locals eat each day is under construction right now. The Jesus House is spending the next two weeks renovating its kitchen.  

A community partnership is helping bridge the gap in service in the meantime. Normally at mealtime, there is a line around the block at the Jesus House, but with a kitchen that dates back nearly a century, an upgrade was long past due. 

“This is a 1938 school house that turned into the Jesus House,” said Executive Director Michael Bateman.

The kitchen certainly looked like it. Now, though, a new look is taking shape. The downtown Rotary Club granted $41,500 to make it happen.

Bateman said the two-week project is exciting for everyone, despite the delay in the work they do.

“It’s different,” Bateman said, “because our clients, they actually thrive on serving the homeless and the less fortunate. It gives them a feel of purpose.”

The construction gives those in the rehab program there a new purpose temporarily, allowing them to help with flooring and painting in the space. The highlight of the new installation will be the vent hood, something they have never had before.

“In the summer it gets like 150 degrees in there with the ovens going,” Bateman revealed, “so this is going to be totally just a complete update.”

While all of this is happening, mealtime guests are being directed down the street to City Rescue Mission, a partnership that will be mutually beneficial when the tables are turned later this year.

“Down the road, we might have to do that with them, as they’re looking at remodeling their kitchen,” said Bateman, “so it’s been a blessing, and it’s been a need for a long time.”

The goal is for Jesus House to have the kitchen complete just in time for the annual block party happening there on May 18. To learn more about the services they provide, click here