The Start of a Beautiful Friendship... Cafe

The Start of a Beautiful Friendship... Cafe

A few years ago, the Friendship House approached the McIntyre foundation for permission to use McIntyre Hall for their annual Fashion Show Fundraiser. The family told them while they did not have control over the venue, they were interested in making a donation to helping the homeless in our community. Two of the family members scheduled a meeting with the board to hear their best ideas and told them to, “think big.”

The previous executive director had been inspired by a grant to create a worker training program to help homeless and unemployed people to gain life skills and empower them to move forward in their life. After not qualifying for the grant because of their small kitchen, the idea was put on the shelf.

Fast forward to the meeting with the McIntyre family, the board presented the idea of building the new Friendship House Cafe and the Hunger to Hope Program. The Friendship House wanted to provide three meals a day, every day of the year for all of the homeless people while training the volunteers who cooked and served the food the skills need for a food service career.

The McIntyre family loved the idea and proposed a matching campaign to meet the 600K goal. The Friendship House ended up raising $345,000 from many generous individuals in our community.

But where were they going to build the Cafe?

The property where the Friendship House Cafe now stands was sold to them at a very reasonable price. They tore down the dangerous building that was on the property. In its place, they built the new Friendship House Cafe with a small attached garden, covered outdoor waiting area, indoor seating, and a full kitchen. It now provides nutritious meals year round to the homeless and hungry in our community as well as a worker training program for a class of up to eight interns.

The Hunger to Hope 12 week program addresses homelessness, unemployment and gives important life skills to people who need them by training them to have a career in food service. The program has up to 8 apprentices who are given hands-on training and extensive certification. The apprentices range from Friendship House residents to people who were referred to the Hunger to Hope program.

Next class begins Tuesday, September 1st. They are looking for apprentice candidates who are interested in an introductory, no cost culinary arts / kitchen management training opportunity.

Please consider a micro-donation of just $10 a month. It only takes $0.75 to provide a meal for someone in need.