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Ribbon Cut on New ‘Melting Pot’ Senior Center

SCRANTON -- A new senior center held its grand opening Friday in Scranton. It was created in response to the city's changing cultural landscape

Inside an old restaurant in Scranton, you'll find a lot of people over a certain age but, also a whole lot of youth.

We were invited to daily yoga at the new senior center on Washburn Street. The center was created to give a community space to Scranton's Indian, Bhutanese, and Nepalese communities and it's growing.

"First, there were only a few people, and now she talks to everybody like, oh, we have center going on, do you want to come? So, now, there were only like 20 people before and now it's like growing," Nidhi Patel said.

Nidhi Patel brings her grandmother Sumitra every day. It's owned by three brothers who saw a need for a senior center as their own mother aged.

"Our mother is 86 years old with us, and we used to feel that by sitting home, by not meeting other people, her life wasn't that great," said part-owner Eddie Dalsania.

The senior center opened up here in west side in a building that used to belong to a catering company, aptly named "The Melting Pot."

"To see these brothers come together, with such reverence for their mom, realizing that she and others like her needed a safe space to congregate, to celebrate their culture, to learn from others, to share their experiences," said Teresa Osborne, Pennsylvania Secretary of Aging.

Osborne came to cut the ribbon at the center which will keep the caterers' name. "The Melting Pot, " and in keeping with that name, The Melting Pot welcomes everyone.

"I was getting gas one morning, and I saw everybody walking around. And I said to the clerk behind the counter, I said, 'what's going on over there?' She said, 'a new senior center opened up, go one over, they'll tell you all about it.' I came in, he's at the door, come on in, and I've been here since," said Bhakti.

She's since adopted a Hindi name Bhakti, started learning the language on her visits, and has found that what makes us different can bring us closer.

"Enriched my life, it's changed my life, all for the better."

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