Remembering the man with a heart of gold

Scott Griffin helps with community outreach at In My Father's Kitchen.

"It's never easy. He was in a coma and he never regained consciousness," said In My Father's Kitchen founder John Tumino.

As John reflects on his friendship with Scott Griffin, you can feel his loss.

"I was looking at his picture and I said, 'I'm not going to see his face anymore live," said John. "It makes me sad, that part makes me sad that I'm not going to see my friend anymore."

Scott died after being hit by a car on the 600 block of Burnet Ave. in Syracuse on February 27. According to officials, the preliminary cause of the crash appears to be Scott stumbling or falling in the path of the vehicle while crossing the street.

John knew Scott for three years. They first met through In My Father's Kitchen, John's organization that helps the homeless in Syracuse. John and his wife Leigh Ann helped get Scott off the streets and into his own home just a few months ago.

"He was engaged with us, but then it's the struggle of being out, people, places and things and you relapse," said John.

Scott struggled with alcohol addiction and couldn't shake it. He worked with people battling their own demons and would tell John he could give great advice, but couldn't follow his own advice. John recalls seeing Scott just a few days before his accident.

"I remember he was sitting over there to my right and I remember when he got up I said to him, 'Scott, I really love you,' and he said he was tired. I hugged him, told him I loved him, told him he wasn't invisible and he walked out the door. That's the last time I physically talked to him."

Now, John is making sure Scott is remembered for the kind soul he was, while finding peace that he's in a better place.

"He had a golden heart, he would give the shirt off his back. For me, it's bringing him before Syracuse as much as I can."

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