For over forty years, Clarence Jordan has been a giant among the leaders and public servants in this community. Instead of making his contribution to Central New York in the way traditional leaders typically do; in business, athletics, academics, or government, Clarence chose to lead by serving the least among us. He took up the plight of the homeless, the voiceless, the addicted, the abused, the abandoned, and the forgotten people of Central New York. He gave his entire life to convincing people who were blessed with success to notice these broken lives, and then to share their resources to help heal them.
Together with his wife Janet and their four loving children, Clarence Jordan pioneered programs, developed abandoned properties, redistributed donations of used goods, sheltered the homeless, cared for the addicted, and raised millions to employ a small army of like-minded folks to join his mission. For the past 18 years, Clarence has worked tirelessly for MercyWorks Inc. to help underserved urban children and young adults find a vision for their lives and discover the resources to achieve it.
His last great project was to complete the Clarence Jordan Vision Center, transforming a largely abandoned warehouse building on the city’s once bustling South Side into a vision factory where every young person in Syracuse could discover their potential and find the resources to reach their dreams. Today, we the leaders and guardians of Syracuse’s business, educational, and non-profit institutions, recognize Clarence Jordan - a man who lived as the least among us - as one of the greatest leaders our community has ever known.
We live in the shadow of your legacy and will never allow the torch you carried for the poor of our city to be put out.
The Board of Directors of Syracuse 20/20