"At the café, we don’t have any set prices for our meals — people can eat regardless of what they can pay," says Cafe 180 executive director Sarah Lesyinski. Diners can also volunteer an hour of their time in lieu of payment, or give a little extra for their food to pay the kindness forward. That restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Lesyinsky says the board that controls the Cafe 180 nonprofit decided to focus more of its efforts in Englewood, and so closed the satellite. "We're doing other job training and housing programs out of the café now, so that's where we wanted to put our focus," she says. To that end, Cafe 180 is partnering with a local task force to help the homeless find emergency housing. "We are going to be the location to give out vouchers on Saturdays for days the weather is severe," Lesyinsky says.
The kiosk that Cafe 180 had occupied was previously home to Casa Cuba and a barbecue shack; now Wikipita is planning on moving from its cart down the street into the space. Wikipita co-owner/operator Leah Gal says the group will be able to expand its offerings in the kiosk, which it hopes to move into next months.