Bean’s Cafe exists to fight hunger for all ages, one meal at a time while providing a pathway to self-sufficiency with dignity and respect. Our current focus is feeding the hungry and homeless in our community, and we have successfully served over 1.2 million meals since March 2020.
Bean’s Cafe History
Bean’s Cafe began with a simple vision: a warm place where those in need can find comfort, warmth, and a helping hand. Our organization was founded by Lynn Ballew, a professor, and humanitarian. She and her daughter, nicknamed ‘Bean’, moved to Alaska in 1978 and immediately began to seek the community’s help to start her day shelter, which she named Bean’s Cafe.
On February 20, 1979, Lynn leased an empty warehouse across from the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Anchorage. The first to arrive were the street people – they helped paint, remodel, arrange furniture, and organize the space. Word spread of Lynn’s efforts, and people worldwide came to offer their support. Soon Bean’s Cafe was a vision realized – a place for the homeless and hungry to eat, rest, read, watch TV, make a phone call, or just relax.
In 1985, Bean’s Cafe relocated to a brand new building with facilities, programs, and services – at the corner of 3rd Avenue and Karluk Street in the heart of Anchorage.
While this particular building no longer houses Bean’s Cafe, it is where the long history of the organization began. Our current operations are headquartered in our Administration office at 4th and Juneau.
Find Out More: https://beanscafe.org/