TAMPA, Fla. - After constant prayer and eight months without a kitchen, Faith Cafe re-opened its doors to anyone hungry and looking for a meal in Tampa.
Created about 12 years ago, the soup kitchen served about 600 meals every week when it shut its doors in July 2012. The owner of the original site decided to sell the building, forcing volunteers to find a new home.
Since then, Faith Cafe hit one challenge after another. Faced with raising $500,000 and finding a location that worked for both clients and neighbors, Faith Cafe board members admit, there were times when they thought they might stay closed forever.
"We would think, 'Well, we just can't go on. This is it. This is the end.' We'd pray about it and God would open another door," explained President Aubrey Smith. "We just kept on keeping on and that was what kept us going. Here we are, finished. Totally paid for."
Their new facility at 1340 North Clearview Avenue is large enough that volunteers hope to expand their social services, including mental health counseling.
Faith Cafe is a conglomerate of seven churches in Tampa Bay. It runs entirely on donations and volunteers. For more information on how to help, visit the Faith Cafe website at http://faithcafetampa.com/ .