Hannah Iozzia personalizes one of the walls at the CanTeen’s new home, located at 6046 Route 31, Cicero, next to Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
Photo by Sarah Hall.
continued “I’m thinking we’ll probably wind up around 100 a day,” Brauchle said. “That’s where we’ll level off at. We might not see it this spring just because of the weather breaking and all of that stuff, but we’ll have an average of 50 to 60 to 70 a day. The kids are just so excited to finally be open. It’s nice. It’s nice to see them back.”
Brauchle said the kids are most excited to finally have a real home after bouncing around for so long. The CanTeen was forced out of their former building on Route 11 last September when the building’s owner opted not to renew their lease; the group found itself in the same situation in November in Country Max Plaza.
“Having this gives us permanency. It gives the kids permanency,” Brauchle said. “I think probably the biggest issue that we had when we moved around like that was that they felt like second-class citizens… Any time you don’t renew a lease or whatever, they take it personally. It has absolutely nothing to do with them, and it could be for any number of reasons, financial reasons or whatever, but they take it personally. But now, the fact that we have a permanent home that nobody can take away from us, that nobody can lease out from underneath us, whatever the thing is… Even under tough budgetary constraints, if we have to make tough choices, if we have to cut back our hours or whatever, we could do that and still not go anywhere. It gives us a sense of permanency.”
Not that the lack of a home meant a lack of programming. While the CanTeen was without a space, Brauchle and her fellow CanTeen workers were determined to make sure that the kids who participated in the program had something to do.