L.A. Angels star Albert Pujols, wife start new cafe concept that helps equip adults from vulnerable situations with vocational training, life skills

COSTA MESA (KABC) — The Los Angeles Angels missed the playoffs this year but Albert Pujols and his wife, Diedre, are keeping busy. The couple launched Open Gate Kitchen, a new cafe concept fueling social good, which equips adults from vulnerable life situations with vocational training and life skills.

Fernando Escobar is now head cook and manager of the restaurant; but a few years ago, he didn’t know where his next meal would come from. Open Gate International helped turn his life around through culinary school.

“My life was in the place of darkness and addicted to meth and alcohol and I ended up in the streets homeless,” said Escobar.

Making food takes Escobar back to days in the kitchen with his mother; Christmas with his family. It now gives him a feeling of empowerment.

“To be a part of something that could possibly help another single parent out there and another single dad to be able to get back on their feet and to provide for their kids is such a humbling experience,” said Escobar.

Diedre Pujols is the founder of the non-profit Open Gate Kitchen. The Costa Mesa restaurant offers life coaching, culinary training and job placement programs to people like Escobar.

“I couldn’t be more proud,” said Diedre.

The mission is a personal one for Pujols. Her own past struggles with addiction and bad choices help her connect with the students here.

“At 19, I didn’t even want to live anymore and so I feel like there’s a way that I can identify with a lot of these individuals who come in,” said Diedre.

Her husband, L.A. Angels first baseman, Albert Pujols, says he worked hard for his own dreams, and he’s helping his wife do the same for their community.

“Their teachers, they get the best of their students, you know, and I think, on the other side, the students put in really hard work, day in and day out, because they know that this is an opportunity or a chance and they don’t want to pass on it,” said Albert.

“Here I am you know, catering for the Los Angeles Angels and all these important people, it’s such a blessing. It is,” said Escobar.

Open Gate Kitchen is now open for dine-in, delivery and take-out options, serving up handcrafted healthy, fresh, cuisine with an international flair.

Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Source Article

Read more

No adults in house when 11-year-old was shot at Flint home, police chief says

FLINT, MI — Police say there were no adults in the house when an 11-year-old boy was shot and critically injured Tuesday afternoon at a Flint home.



a man and a woman standing in the grass: Flint police investigate after an 11-year-old boy was shot multiple times on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020 in the 600 block of Crawford Street on Flint's south side.


© Jake May | MLive.com/Jake May | Mlive.com/mlive.com/TNS
Flint police investigate after an 11-year-old boy was shot multiple times on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020 in the 600 block of Crawford Street on Flint’s south side.

Officers with the Flint Police Department responded around 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29 in the 600 block of Crawford Street, between Euston and Grand Traverse streets, for a report of a shooting.



a group of people in uniform: Flint police investigate after an 11-year-old boy was shot multiple times on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020 in the 600 block of Crawford Street on Flint's south side.


© Jake May | MLive.com/Jake May | Mlive.com/mlive.com/TNS
Flint police investigate after an 11-year-old boy was shot multiple times on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020 in the 600 block of Crawford Street on Flint’s south side.

A neighbor called police after hearing people yelling that someone had been shot.

The boy had been shot multiple times and was transported to a local hospital for treatment where he is in critical condition.

Michigan State Police troopers had taken a 35-year-old man into custody at the Walmart store off East Court Street in Burton as a potential suspect in the matter, Flint Police Chief Terence Green said.



a group of people standing around a fire hydrant in front of a house: Flint police investigate after an 11-year-old boy was shot multiple times on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020 in the 600 block of Crawford Street on Flint's south side.


© Jake May | MLive.com/Jake May | Mlive.com/mlive.com/TNS
Flint police investigate after an 11-year-old boy was shot multiple times on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020 in the 600 block of Crawford Street on Flint’s south side.

The man has since been released from custody after investigators spoke with the children inside the home at the time of the shooting.

“The kids weren’t truthful,” said Green. “He definitely wasn’t the one that fired the shot. We don’t think he was there when it happened.”

There were four children — ages 9 to 14 — at the home when the boy was shot, but no adults were present.

When asked if one of the other children had fired the shot, Green commented: “Can’t confirm that at this time.”

He said people have to understand police are dealing with children and they become uneasy in certain situations.

“That’s why some of the misinformation was put out there, because they were afraid,” noted Green. “The investigators did a great job sorting through all that and getting to the truth now.”

Flint police have received assistance from Michigan State Police and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office in the incident.

It’s unknown at this time who owns the gun or how the children came into its possession.

“We’re assuming it was located in the house somewhere,” Green said. “We don’t know who the owner is or how exactly they came in possession of it.”

He urged parents to secure their guns, from a gun lock to storing ammunition separate from their firearm, or placing the weapon in a hidden, secure location.

“Especially if kids of this age are going to be left home alone,” said Green. “We have enough gun violence without having to deal with incidents that could have been avoided.”

With an incident and investigation involving

Read more

Philabundance Opens Community Kitchen Offering Adults Culinary Training and Life Skills

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf helped cut the ribbon on a brand new Philabundance Community Kitchen in North Philadelphia on Tuesday.

PCK is a 16-week culinary training and life skills program providing opportunities to adults with little to no income who need not just a job, but a second chance at life.

PCK promotes the self-sufficiency of its students by preparing them for and connecting them to work in the food service industry and allows them to give back by preparing meals for those in need.

“In a year that has contained a great deal of hardship, it is wonderful to have the opportunity to celebrate a new beginning,” said Governor Wolf. “Nothing could be more appropriate than celebrating with the Philabundance community. Philabundance has remained a steadfast partner in my administration’s commitment to ensuring that every Pennsylvanian has access to plentiful, nutritious food.”

The 20,000 square foot facility includes classrooms for life skills education and a commercial kitchen where participants will learn valuable culinary arts skills.

Since 2000, PCK has graduated more than 920 students. This is PCK’s first location in its 20-year history that is not shared with another organization or company.

PCK also has its own catering program that helps fund programming, and they provide food to homeless shelters around the city.

“It’s a culinary arts workforce development program that helps teach culinary arts and life skills and then helps employ folks that may have had trouble getting employment in the past,” said Melanie Cataldi, Philabundance Chief Impact Officer. “And we follow them for a minimum of two years to make sure they have whatever they need to stay employed. So it’s really a transformational program.”

Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Source Article

Read more

Midtown, Hell’s Kitchen hotels housing the most single homeless adults by far

The vast majority of single homeless adults moved from shelters to stop the spread of COVID-19 were relocated to hotels in Manhattan, the city’s Department of Homeless Services data shows.



a close up of a busy city street with tall buildings: The Lucerne Hotel on West 79th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan, New York City.


© Gardiner Anderson
The Lucerne Hotel on West 79th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan, New York City.

Of the 8,969 single adults assigned to “COVID-relatedhotels, more than 5,400 are living in 32 Manhattan hotels — with at least 3,000 concentrated in Midtown, Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea.

Those numbers are a stark contrast to other boroughs.

Staten Island hotels haven’t housed any single adults as part of the city’s effort to reduce the density in shelters and prevent the spread of COVID-19, city data shows.

As of July 31, 1,600 single adults have stayed in 15 Brooklyn hotels, 1,719 in 14 hotels in Queens and 240 in two Bronx hotels.

More recent data suggests there’s a bigger homeless population in Midtown hotels — up to 4,300, according to Barbara Blair, head of the Garment District Alliance. The numbers are consistent with a wave of complaints from borough residents fearful about the influx.

“It’s terrifying people,” said Dan Biederman, president of the Bryant Park Corporation and the 34th Street Partnership, which represents local businesses. “I have never seen such vociferous comments from owners and tenants.”



a pile of luggage sitting on top of a building: A homeless encampment along W. 39th St. between Ninth and Tenth Aves. on Saturday in Manhattan. (Barry Williams)


© Provided by New York Daily News
A homeless encampment along W. 39th St. between Ninth and Tenth Aves. on Saturday in Manhattan. (Barry Williams)

A homeless encampment along W. 39th St. between Ninth and Tenth Aves. on Saturday in Manhattan. (Barry Williams) (Barry Williams/)

The Garment District Alliance, which represents local businesses, wrote in an Aug. 17 letter to Mayor de Blasio the situation has “degraded to a crisis point.”

“Since the arrival of the temporary shelters throughout West Midtown, there has been a precipitous increase in crime and antisocial behavior on our streets,” the group wrote in a letter signed by dozens of businesses and residents.

“Open drug use and sales, drinking, fighting, aggressive behavior, panhandling, verbal altercations, urinating and defecating in public and loitering have become commonplace.”

“None of these issues existed at this level and intensity before the use of area hotels commenced,” the alliance added.

Some of the most vocal backlash has come from the largely white and upper-middle class Upper West Side, where for weeks residents railed against the relocation of about 300 homeless men to the Lucerne Hotel.

De Blasio last week said the men would be moved from the Lucerne — not because of the political pressure from residents or Randy Mastro, the high profile lawyer and former deputy mayor who promised to sue the city over the controversy — but because it was part of a broader city policy goal, first outlined in 2017, to phase out hotels as shelter for the homeless and disperse the homeless more evenly throughout the city.

COVID-19 put that plan on hold as the city scrambled to slow the virus spread in homeless shelters by transferring people to

Read more

New apartment complex will house adults with disabilities in Grand Haven

GRAND HAVEN, MI – A new apartment building for adults with disabilities will open next week with a socially distanced car parade to celebrate the new residents.

Loading...

Load Error

Gracious Grounds, a Grand Haven, faith-based housing organization, will open Lakeshore Flats at 17003 Lakeshore Flats Drive on Thursday, Sept. 10, with a 4 p.m. car parade planned to welcome 25 residents to the building.

The apartments are structured to allow the residents, who range in age from 20 years old to senior citizens, to live independently while being part of a community, according to a press release.

“We believe that independent living for those with unique abilities is attainable,” said David Burdo, the housing group’s executive director, in the release. “The opening of Gracious Grounds at Lakeshore Flats expands on our mission to provide our residents with an opportunity to live a more independent life where they are able to socialize and integrate themselves into a welcoming community.”

With the opening of the building complex, the organization will house 40 people total, up from 15 currently at the organization’s other two properties.

All community members are invited to take part in the parade on Thursday, according to the release.

Gracious Grounds also provides “employability skills and opportunities, daily living skills and spirituality,” according to its website.

Read more on MLive:

Churches plan unity rally against racial injustice in Muskegon

No in-person classes? No problem. This Michigan school has a personal solution

How to safely celebrate Labor Day weekend in a pandemic

———

©2020 MLive.com, Walker, Mich.

Visit MLive.com, Walker, Mich. at www.mlive.com.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Continue Reading

Source Article

Read more