Erie City Officials visit Emmaus Ministries

“I like this,” said Kathy Wyrosdick, Erie City Planner, while she looked around Emmaus Soup Kitchen. “I like how it feels like a house.”

The City Planner, Kathy, asked to visit Emmaus’ ministries to better learn about community efforts in the “East Bayfront neighborhood.” Kathy is helping to implement the Erie Refocus Plan, the goal of which is to strengthen neighborhoods by first understanding the needs and how needs are being addressed in each neighborhood and then working to further develop effective responses.

“We know that community meetings aren’t always the best way to garner information,” said Kathy, “so we’re going to different organizations and nonprofits around Erie to talk with people and gather information that way.”

Kathy, her intern Tessa, and colleague Jon Tushak, toured all of Emmaus’ ministries, the soup kitchen, food pantry, Kids Cafe in St. Mary’s, and Emmaus Grove, the garden, to see how each is addressing a need in Erie.

On an invitation from Holly Nowak, the coordinator of The Space to Create: at Saint Mary’s, another city official, Erie’s Mayor Joe Schember, also visited Saint Mary’s, which included a full tour of the Kids Cafe.

He and his staff were delighted by the different studios and opportunities for artists to come into the city to create beauty. When he walked into the Poetry Studio, he told Sister Mary Lou Kownacki, Emmaus board member, “I was an English major in college,” he said. “Maybe I could teach a class in the poetry studio!”

Pictured: Mayor Joe Schember and his staff watching artist Holly Nowak weave at St. Mary's: The Space to Create

Read this story and more on the Emmaus Ministries web page.