LocalSYR

Couple dedicated to helping the homeless now homeless themselves

A local husband and wife who have dedicated their lives to helping the homeless are now homeless themselves. The couple’s home on Palmer Street in the city went up in flames on June 28. Syracuse firefighters were able to knock it down quickly so the home could be rebuilt, but it’s going to cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- A local husband and wife who have dedicated their lives to helping the homeless are now homeless themselves.

The couple’s home on Palmer Street in the city went up in flames on June 28. Syracuse firefighters were able to knock it down quickly so the home could be rebuilt, but it’s going to cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Peter King and his wife Anne O'Connor have an emotional and spiritual connection to the home. And say it’s where they began their lives together after being married. They also see it as a spiritual symbol in one of Syracuse's poorest neighborhoods.

“Because we're Christian we know God has given us a trial, but we know that there is a way out,” Peter continued.

The couple quickly found strength in their faith and their friends. Volunteers have already helped clean out the home.

The King’s don’t have insurance. They don’t believe in it. Instead, they believe in the good of their community and the generosity of others.

“It will be alright, everything is going to be alright and people have come forward in a variety of ways -- money, and all of it,” O'Connor said. “We know it. It’s very much evident in our lives. We've run 40 years in the kitchen without any sort of funding except donations so we know that we would be taken care of.”

The Kings have run the Unity Kitchen in the city for 40 years, helping to feed the less fortunate. The renovation could cost upwards of $140,000. So far, they’ve raised about $30,000.

“We put down organic roots we never promoted ourselves, we just grew slowly. We feel that kind of thing comes to fruition, bears fruit at the right time, and this is the right time. We really need to feel the love coming back,” explained Peter.

The Kings hope to be back in their house by the new year. If you’re interested in helping, send donations to: Unity Kitchen Community Catholic Worker, 385 West Onondaga St., P.O. Box 650, Syracuse, NY 13201 or call 478-5552.

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