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Rome, Syracuse Rescue Missions At Odds Over Redemption Center Proceeds

deedeeannete, flickr

A newly purchased chain of redemption centers is rubbing the Rome Rescue Mission the wrong way.

Matt Miller, Executive Director of the Mission, says the Syracuse Rescue Mission has bought several bottle redemption facilities, including one on Erie Boulevard, in Rome. The purchases poses a problem because there was no contact from the Syracuse group until after the purchase had been made.

“We’re surprised that a rescue mission would just go in and do that to another rescue mission, and put us in a position that is going to hurt us… or possibly hurt us,” Miller said. “That’s where the problems lie.”

Miller says the acquisition could hurt the people he serves, as the funds raised by the redemption center will go towards helping the homeless in Syracuse.

But, Syracuse Rescue Mission CEO, Alan Thorton, says it was never the group’s goal to take money from Rome. He says the for-profit facility could easily collaborate.

“If non-profits in communities where we don’t have a program presence want to work  with us to leverage that “Mission Returns” brand, we could help them raise donations in their community,” Thorton said. “For example, if they wanted to leverage their donors to do bottle and can drives, we could process those bottles and cans for them and they would get easily the full five cents per bottle and can back to their organization.”

Miller’s concern remains that the bulk of these endeavors will support another town, rather than those in the City of Rome.

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