Ebenezer Church established the Cloe Ministry Fund from an estate gift of Francis and Mary Stuart Cloe, long-time members of our congregation. Out of this fund, Micah Ministries received a $175k grant to build a commercial kitchen. The new space allowed Micah to open the Community Café, serving reasonably priced meals to anyone in the community and free meals to homeless clients.
The Café also function as a job training center for Micah’s clients. Several times a year, a new class enters the training program to learn the hard skills of working in a kitchen and the soft skills of working in a structured environment with others. Our colleagues at Micah shared the following success story about one of their first graduates.
A young man showed up at Micah shortly after his mom passed away. He was a senior in high school and had been her primary caregiver. When she died he was left without a place to live and no support system. On the street, he quickly picked up life skills from others who had been homeless longer. He found a job and an apartment, but the unresolved grief from his mother’s death kept sneaking up on him. His lack of coping skills often left him struggling to keep his job and pay his bills.
He was back on the street this year, but this time, Micah had a new opportunity for him. He could learn to work in a restaurant. He was part of the inaugural class at the new Community Café. He attended weekly empowerment classes, practiced his culinary skills, and earned a Servesafe certificate and a job reference. Under the supervision of the cafe manager, he sharpened his skills, but he also gained a friend and mentor. He was pushed to be better, and his mentor helped him believe in himself.
Today, he works full-time at a local restaurant and is looking for an apartment. Now, he volunteers in the cafe because it is his community. The Community Café remains a safe place where he belongs, people believe in him, he contributes, and he has meaningful relationships. He says he feels whole for the first time in a very long while.
– Tina DeBoeser
Director, Missions and Outreach
You can support the café by volunteering or simply enjoying lunch. The Café is open for lunch and operates on a ‘pay what you can’ system. Next time you are in downtown Fredericksburg, stop in and see Micah’s progress in action.
1016 Caroline Street,
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Tuesdays and Thursdays
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM