• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 44s

Bean’s Cafe celebrates 35 years of service

By Kate McPherson Photojournalist: Jared Mazurek - 7:29 AM July 30, 2014

Bean’s Café has helped the homeless and hungry in Anchorage for 35 years, but it’s a bittersweet anniversary for staff and volunteers.

“I think it’s a positive that we exist but I think everyone would agree, ideally, it’d be better if we didn’t have to provide these meals,” said Steve Williams, chairman of the Bean’s Café Board.

On Tuesday evening, Bean’s Cafe revealed plans for a $250,000 facility upgrade. It includes better security and a new conference room that will provide a private area for Bean’s clients to receive financial and housing help as well as attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

“Anything that our clients need we are hopeful our community partners will come and deliver those services right here at the café,” said Executive Director Lisa Sauder, who hopes the renovations will be completed by winter.

Two volunteers were also honored for their service at Tuesday night’s ceremony: Gregory Jack, who was a client volunteer for decades and passed away in March, and Brooke McPheters, who volunteered generously before her young life was cut short a year ago.

One of the biggest changes observed over the decades is the number of people in their 20s seeking help.

“They are able to make it for a certain portion of the month and then they run out of cash and they need something to help them through to the next paycheck,” Williams said.

Bean’s Café aims to help younger people by connecting them with services that focus on education.

Every person who walks through the door at Bean’s Café has a unique story and unique circumstance.

“Our job is to talk to them, learn from them and find out what they want help with and what they are ready to accept help for,” Sauder said.

There’s more than one reason for the increasing number of people accessing services from Bean’s Café, but not being able to afford a place to live is a big one.

“Huge issues in Anchorage with housing, housing is hard to come by and it’s very expensive,” Sauder said.



Latest Stories

  • News

    SmallBizSat: Anchorage business boasts local expertise as key to compete

    by Liz Raines on Nov 28, 19:01

    On Small Business Saturday, locally owned Skinny Raven Sports says it saw a big boost from last year’s sales. “There’s been a lot of feet through the door, which is awesome,” said general manager Ben Stolpman. “It shows that people value small business.” Despite the fact that you can find almost all of the products […]

  • Sports

    At Great AK Shootout, Wiggs lifts Seawolves to 71-65 win over Drexel

    by Jake Edmonds on Nov 28, 14:08

    The University of Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team earned a second round win in the GCI Great Alaska Shootout Friday, defeating Drexel 71-65. The Seawolves were led by the junior stand-out Suki Wiggs, who had 33 points in the win. Wiggs is proving to be a huge asset for head coach Rusty Osbourne and the […]

  • News

    In Fairbanks, borough suspends ride share payments after no one signs up

    by Associated Press on Nov 28, 12:25

    Residents aren’t getting on board with ride sharing in the Fairbanks North Star Borough. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://bit.ly/1YzWBoS) borough officials and Enterprise Holdings have agreed to suspend payments for a program that no one has signed up for since the company was hired in September 2014. Borough transportation manager Adam Barth says he […]

  • Crime

    Anchorage police seek wanted man, Dajon Hale

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 28, 11:58

    The Anchorage Police Department is asking for the public’s help finding 26-year-old Dajon Hale, who currently has two felony warrants for his arrest. Police say in June, Hale was pulled over for speeding in a construction zone in the area of E. 56th Avenue and Lake Otis Parkway. The officer then discovered Hale was on probation […]

  • News

    Red Cross of Alaska speaks out for Giving Tuesday

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Nov 27, 22:48

    After Thanksgiving, shoppers have a number of opportunities to save big: first there’s Black Friday, then Small Business Saturday and finally, Cyber Monday. Many use the sales in stores and online as a chance to get deals on Christmas presents for their loved ones, but the Red Cross of Alaska says Giving Tuesday is another […]

  • News

    Thousands turn out for Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony in Downtown Anchorage

    by Daniella Rivera on Nov 27, 22:37

    Friday night, thousands packed Town Square Park for the annual AT&T Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, marking the official start of the holiday season in Anchorage. Alaskans enjoyed free hot cocoa and cookies, kids got to meet Santa Claus and his reindeer, and Alaskans gave back through donations to Toys for Tots. Live music was provided by […]

  • News

    Eagle River women turn to Kickstarter to fund indoor dog park

    by Bonney Bowman on Nov 27, 20:42

    Thousands of Alaskan dog owners know around this time of year it can be tough to get your dog enough exercise. Whether it’s cold and icy or wet and muddy, conditions aren’t always ideal for a long walk. That’s what inspired Alyssa Oehmke and Melanie Wallace to found the Alaska Canine Club, an indoor dog park. […]

  • News

    Locally-owned Anchorage stores brace for ‘Small Business Saturday’

    by Liz Raines on Nov 27, 18:18

    Although Black Friday had a low turnout in Anchorage this year, many local businesses say they’re banking on Saturday sales. “‘Small Business Saturday’ is always the big push, people come out in full force which is awesome, we appreciate that, completely,” said Annie Ciszak Pazar, owner of Bella Boutique in Spenard. “You know they call […]