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Benton Harbor’s Mosaic celebrates grand opening of new location

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- It’s known as a home for second chances in Benton Harbor. And now, Mosaic is getting its own second chance, thanks to two new locations.

“Three! Two! One! Cut that ribbon!” cheered a crowd of several dozen Monday afternoon.

“Now we’ve got increased ability to do the training and the work that we do,” said Ric Pawloski, executive director of Mosaic.

Mosaic has moved into a new home to further its mission.

“Mosaic’s heartbeat is community impact,” said Mosaic Founder Reverend Brian Bennett.

The non-profit, which is known for its “Jobs for Life” program, had to move out of its original home on Main Street by July, as part of an agreement with nearby Whirlpool.

The corporation is expanding its Benton Harbor campus and had purchased the land Mosaic originally stood on several years ago.

That led Mosaic to divide and conquer.

The non-profit’s resale store and offices now call the old state bank building on Wall Street home.

And Mosaic Café now has its own space, just a few blocks away on Main Street in Benton Harbor.

“All the people behind the counter here, all the people that you saw working in the store, they’re all graduates,” Pawloski said, during an interview inside the café.

The graduates he’s referring to are from the Jobs for Life program.

The program is Mosaic’s mission to help those with a troubled past get back on track by getting to work.

Classes are now taught on the floor above the resale store.

One floor below, shoppers like Kiylee Burk-Terry came Monday to spend their money at Mosaic because they like the organization’s mission.

“They help people that can’t find jobs or that are falling behind with things and need help or need other roads to better ways,” she said.

The new buildings offer a new look, more space, and most importantly, more jobs.

But the same lessons are being taught.

Program graduate Gregory Cooper said it works.

“It actually is for the community,” Cooper said. “It’s not a program that just talks. It actually acts on what it says and it helps with jobs.”

Pawloski said about 70 percent of the organization’s revenue comes from the resale store, the café, and a landscaping business.

He hopes more people will be drawn to the new storefront and café, which are both just down the road from Benton Harbor’s Arts District.

Pawloski said the more money spent at Mosaic’s businesses, the more money stays in the community and goes right back into the Jobs for Life program.

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