New home for Faith Cafe taking shape
TAMPA - The all-new Faith Cafe is under construction, and its leaders say it will be ready for use within months. The cafe, which serves free lunches to people in need, is slated to open a 2,600-square-foot location at 1340 Clearview Ave., south of Interstate 275 and north of Cypress Street. The structure is scheduled for completion by the end of January, said Burk Clark of The Sinclair Group, which is the builder. The cafe's previous location was about a mile away, east of Dale Mabry Highway on Kennedy Boulevard. It closed in late July after serving meals to those in need since 2001.The new building will have more room and allow organizers to expand the charity's clothes closet for the needy. It will have two offices for meetings and counseling, Clark said. "We have received excellent response from subcontractors and suppliers," Clark wrote in an email to The Tampa Tribune. "They are either donating or deeply discounting the materials for this project. In addition, many others have donated their legal, real estate, architectural and engineering services. It has been a great effort by all involved to deliver a great project at an extremely affordable price." Jeanette Conley, president of the cafe's board of directors, expects about 200 meals will be served daily at the new site, which is about 50 more meals than previously were served at the Kennedy location. While construction is ongoing, Conley said, it is unclear where the cafe's prior guests are getting services. She said she only was aware of where three or four of those people are eating. "It's really sad," she said. "We're concerned and we want to open as quickly as possible because we recognize there are a lot of people that might not be getting what they need." For information about the Faith Cafe or to help, go to www.faithcafetampa.com.
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