OSWEGO – A handful of college students, as well as a local politician, recently gathered at the Oswego Salvation Army’s office to help paint and improve the interior of the building.
Students from SUNY Oswego and Oswego Councilor Billy Barlow volunteered their time to help paint a room that is designed for the army’s Bridging the Gap between Youth and Social Services program.
The purpose of the program, which was introduced to the Oswego County Salvation Army in September 2014, is to offer young adults the opportunity to expunge their records for first time, low-level offenders. The participants engage in the diversion program for 12 weeks and learn life and coping skills.
The program has also helped some participants begin the path to obtaining their GED, apply for jobs and even set goals for their potential careers.
“We hope to give a safe place and space for young adults to hang out that does not present opportunities for them to get in trouble,” said Lieutenant Phillip Davies, the assistant leader to the program.
For more than three hours, volunteers painted the room to create a space where participants of the program can relax and feel free to express themselves.
The room will also double as a “Young Adult Room,” where participants of the program, as well as students from SUNY Oswego, will be invited to interact on Friday nights.
“It is very encouraging and beneficial for all involved to see the Salvation Army enhance themselves and better serve the community,” said Barlow. “The commitment the Salvation Army makes to our community is cherished and appreciated.”
Barlow also said it was an honor to lend a hand in helping the Salvation Army’s interior improvement effort and commended the SUNY Oswego students who participated.