ATLANTIC CITY — Sister Jean’s Kitchen, the soup kitchen across from the old Trump Taj Mahal that has been frequented by the poor, homeless, addicted, and, sometimes mistakenly, casino patrons off the bus from New York’s Chinatown, will be moving to a new home outside the city’s tourism district.
Its home in the brownish red-stone Presbyterian Church at Pennsylvania and Pacific Avenues is badly in need of repair, and its location in the city’s tourism district is not ideal, said Robert Mulcahy, head of the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
The CRDA approved up to $1 million to fund renovations and improvements associated with the relocation, which will move the organization several blocks north to the former St. Monica’s Catholic Church at Pennsylvania and Arctic Avenue. The Diocese of Camden closed the church in a consolidation two years ago.
Mayor Don Guardian, a CRDA board member, said the move would place the mission closer to where the majority of its clients live.
“It has been providing a necessary service in Atlantic City for a very long time,” Guardian said. “The majority of people are residents of Atlantic City that are housed but are poor. The location two blocks away will be closer to where people actually live.”
The current building has a tarp over part of the roof, noted board members.
“It’s held together by Band-Aids,” said Mulcahy. “All of this fits into making Atlantic City better.”
Sister Jean Webster, a fixture in Atlantic City for decades, died in 2011 at the age of 76. A former cook at the Trump Taj Mahal, she began feeding the poor after seeing a man searching for food out of her trash can.
The kitchen will occupy the former sanctuary.