Community Cafe

BUTTE- One of the few resources for those in need has closed up shop in the Mining City.

The Heart of Butte Community Café announced its closure at the end of last week due to financial trouble. The café was the only pay-what-you-can restaurant in town and provided much-needed meals to Butte's homeless and food insecure.

The café made sure no one went hungry by teaming up with St. James Hospital to provide a free dinner to anyone in need six days a week.

Café Board Member, Deacon Bernie McCarthy said, "There's a huge population of people who don't know where their next meal will come from literally."

McCarthy says the café needed to make $300-$500 a day to operate but that money stopped coming in when paying customers stopped walking through the door. McCarthy is disappointed with the outcome and says he believes the café received a reputation as being a soup kitchen, which deterred paying customers.

The restaurant provided more than just a free meal, McCarthy said.

"The concept we had to provide a restaurant style meal for people who otherwise wouldn't be able to go to a restaurant and eat."

Since this important community resource can no longer serve, it will be up to other organizations like Action Inc. and the Butte Food Bank to fill the need. Both of the organizations provide free lunches to the homeless multiple days a week.

Thankfully for those in need, Butte's new homeless shelter is set to open in a week, according to Rocky Lions, executive director of the Butte Rescue Mission.

"Our food program will start on Wednesday for breakfast, lunch and dinner," Lions says. "Fortunately it will only be a few days that there will be a gap."

Lions says crews are hard at work to meet that deadline putting the finishing touches on the shelter.

However, there's no rest for the Café Board.

McCarthy says they will get together and consider their options on how to move forward.

"I'm really hopefully the concept is a good concept we can do something else similar in the future."

The homeless shelters' ribbon cutting is set for Tuesday June 12, at 11 AM at 610 East Platinum Street. The facility will be open for tours that day.

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