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Proceeds from local redemption center not staying local

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Syracuse Rescue Mission has recently embarked on a new business venture purchasing a chain of redemption centers to help raise funds. The idea is causing some local controversy, as one of the centers is located in Rome.

At Rome's 8 Cent Bottle and Can Redemption Center on 731 Erie Blvd. West, cans and bottles can be dropped off to help benefit the Rescue Mission but not Rome's, all proceeds made are to benefit the Syracuse Rescue Mission.

Matt Miller Executive Director of The Rome Rescue Mission is upset with the new business venture, having just heard about it after they were already there.

"I just feel it was very underhanded because the deal was already done and then 'Oh, by the way we're coming into Rome,'" said Miller.

The money generated is to offset the cost of homeless and hunger programs in Syracuse, what Miller says isn't right, when there's struggling in Rome.

"Our shelters are completely full, the primary people we help are women and children so it is tough and a lot of the people that we see today are working, they're working class adults where the ends are just hard to meet," said Miller.

While the chain is called 8 Cent Bottle and Can Redemption, the center's set to change it's name to "Mission Redemption Center" what's making Miller even more upset. He's afraid people will think they're supporting their local rescue mission, when really their gifts are going miles away.

"I understand that they have a lot more resources but that does not give them the right to go into a small community that is struggling and take away from what we're trying to accomplish," said Miller.

The Syracuse Rescue Mission says they are willing to make the business venture a collaborative effort with Rome, however Miller says he doesn't see how it could be a partnership when they're already there.

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