Paz de Cristo Community Center is pleased to announce the grand opening of its newly-enclosed dining hall.
Mesa Mayor John Giles shared remarks following a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Mesa Chamber of Commerce. Nearly 200 people attending the event held on Saturday, December 7, 2019, at Paz de Cristo Community Center, 424 W Broadway Road, Mesa, Arizona.
In December, construction was completed that enclosed the dining hall and installed air conditioning as well as heating. “By transforming our space, volunteers and guests will find relief from 120-degree summer days. Now we will be able to expand the hours of empowerment programs for people in need,” explained Executive Director Arlen Westling.
“Last year, Paz de Cristo served more than 15,000 people struggling with hunger, poverty and homelessness,” Westling said. “We provided more than 600,000 meals to Veterans, senior citizens, working poor and people experiencing homelessness.”
Construction on the new dining hall was made possible by grants from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
A grant in the amount of $150,000 was given by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. “We’re pleased to help Paz de Cristo serve clients in greater comfort, while providing a multi-purpose space where clients can access programs and services that lead to greater self-sufficiency,” said Senior Program Officer Laura McBride of Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.
In addition, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community gave grants totaling $136,750 to fund construction on the new dining hall along with upgrades to Paz de Cristo’s commercial kitchen and warehouse.
“We are so grateful for the generous support of these two organizations,” Westling said. “Now we can provide food, programs and relief from the extreme summer heat.”
The mission of Paz de Cristo is to Feed, Clothe and Empower those in need in the Phoenix East Valley. The organization provides more than 50,000 meals each month and strives to relieve suffering while helping those in need improve their quality of life. Clean clothes, a hot shower and a haircut give people a fresh start.
Paz de Cristo’s Jobs Program offers personal career coaching along with practical, one-on-one assistance writing resumes, searching for job openings and preparing for interviews. Computers with online access and printers are available in the Job Center. Staff members help people get Arizona identification, birth certificates and bus tickets effectively removing barriers so people can get ahead.
This powerful intervention of food, clothing and jobs is helping end the cycle of poverty.