Kansas City Kitchen Disquised

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Photo taken by Makayla Stein

Makayla Stein, Reporter

     For years, homeless people have struggled to find necessities to survive on the streets. Most end up going to shelters and kitchens where they wait in lines to receive food, a bed or even new clothes. They are ignored by their fellow pedestrians because they are considered “lower class” without money. People attempt to keep their distance by walking on the other side of the street or close to the road.

     A small Kansas City Community Kitchen, which has served the community for 30 years, decided to try something new to help include homeless people and make them feel more important in the community. They disguised their regular looking soup kitchen as a walk in restaurant.

     “We are trying to flip the photo of what a soup kitchen looks like,” said the manager of the kitchen, Mandy Caruso-Yahne.

     When anyone walks through the door they are immediately greeted before being seated. Instead of standing in a line and waiting to be served their order is taken by volunteers who then bring them their food when the cook has it ready. The process is exactly like a regular restaurant as well as the setting.

     The food is also different than any soup kitchen. A man named Michael Curry, who use to live in poverty himself, now owns a restaurant and created a menu for the soup kitchen. The menu incorporates fresh food that isn’t bland. He even takes suggestions from local diners to make a change once in awhile.

     “It’s different,” said Brian Oglesby, a homeless man who dined at the kitchen. “They’re treating me good, like they don’t know I’m homeless.”

     The kitchen has received lots of positive feedback for their accomplishment. The people who came up with the idea titled it “Dine with Dignity” since it gave the homeless the chance to feel like people who have money.

     Communities are being inspired by the small kitchen that turned into something new. The homeless are all around the country. People are beginning to notice that even a small change can make a big difference in a community.