Homeless cafe loses South Tampa home

4:16 PM, Jul 28, 2012   |    comments
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SOUTH TAMPA, Florida -- They wait eagerly, some carrying everything they've gathered on the streets, including hunger.

When Faith Cafe opens for the day inside an old church near Dale Mabry Hwy. and W. Kennedy Blvd., piles of food help people who need them, no questions asked.

That's why, after 11 years of serving the homeless and hungry, volunteers are so upset that this is the cafe's last day at that location.

"We care. We care about these people," says long-time volunteer Clyde Barr as he holds back tears. "This place is of God. He'll work it out. He'll work it out."

For years, the property owner let Faith Cafe use the building for little to no rent. Now, the land is going to be developed so that a number of restaurants and businesses can open at the prime South Tampa location.

"For me, the graciousness and the loving atmosphere is beyond my words," says Tony Pisano, who started coming to Faith Cafe after he was badly hurt in a car crash. "These wonderful people actually enabled me to live."

The cafe's organizers have bought property on Clearview Ave., north of the original location. However, they still need to raise money for building and furniture costs.

Meanwhile, volunteers may serve the homeless temporarily at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Tampa. A meeting is scheduled for Tuesday to decide if that is feasible.

Even with the temporary home, volunteers won't be able to serve everyone.

"I had a guy yesterday, he said 'You won't see me because it's too far for me to walk,'" explains Barr. "And I said 'Well, you could ride the bus.' And he said, 'I can't afford a bus ticket.'"

You can help Faith Cafe by clicking here.

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