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Crossroads: More than a cup of hot soup

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Doing the Most Good- Sierra del Mar

Lives are changed at intergenerational center in Escondido.

by MEL TAKAHARA – 



Frances (center) enjoys the camaraderie during a sandwich-making session at Crossroads.


Teens who have gotten into trouble with the law don’t phase the seniors at the Escondido Corps Community Center! In fact, in the successful Crossroads intergenerational program, the troubled teens and seniors are working together.

On a recent winter afternoon, Frances, a resident of The Salvation Army’s Silvercrest apartments for low-income or handicapped seniors, walked next door to the corps to help make sandwiches the homeless. Soon she was surrounded by teens from the program, chatting about their day at school. Frances listened attentively while wielding her practiced spoon, spreading peanut butter on bread. Javier, standing next to her, added jam, another piece of bread and carefully placed the sandwich into a baggie.

Javier’s probation officer referred him to Crossroads to do 40 hours of court mandated community work. He says he likes the program because he is treated as someone special, valuable here.

The teens often put together light luncheons and tea parties for the seniors and learn the joy of serving others. The seniors provide warmth and wisdom, so often lacking in the teens’ lives. And they enjoy their special time with the teens.

Over the holidays, the teens and seniors worked together putting together 500 food boxes for Christmas.

These teens are at a crossroads, a crucial point, in their lives. Thanks to The Salvation Army, their path is at a crossroads, place where two roads meet, with the seniors’ paths. Through this program, many of the teens may find another cross on their road, the life-changing cross where Jesus died for them.


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