Alpha Pizzeria serving up second chances to those once on the street

Posted at 7:19 PM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 00:19:46-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Alpha Pizzeria serving up second chances

A new pizzeria is open for business in San Diego's East Village. Serving great food is just one part of the mission.

"The purpose of Alpha Pizzeria is to one, produce a great product, and then the proceeds go to support our residents in the permanent supportive housing building in Alpha Square," said Bob McElroy, President of Alpha Project.

The pizzeria is located below Alpha Square, a housing complex for people who once lived on the street. Right now it has 201 tenants.

Residents of Alpha Square will have the opportunity help out in the pizzeria as paid interns. McElroy hopes to equip them with skills so they can continue working in the food industry. He says some nearby restaurants have inquired about hiring his residents in the future, especially the veterans.

"We have some folks who over the years, over the decades have worked in food service. But stuff happened along the way which got them into the building," said McElroy. "It gives people a reason to get out of bed. For them, it's part of the healing process."

McElroy says Alpha Square doesn't like your typical low-income housing and he says the residents take good care of it because they're proud to live there.

Proceeds from Alpha Pizzeria will also help fund a future project involving a larger kitchen and work training program.

You can find them at 550 14th Street in East Village.