The Salvation Army Kids’ Café is dedicated to empowering inner city youth and their families to enhance their self-sufficiency. The components focus on feeding children physically, emotionally and spiritually; strengthening families, teaching respect, encouraging education and promoting positive lifestyles. Our commitment is to provide a safe environment that fosters individual growth and emphasizes community involvement.
WHAT IS KIDS' CAFÉ?
Nearly all of our Youth Center programs were developed from our Kids' Café program. Kids' Café opened in December 1994 serving warm, nutritious evening meals to 80-100 children each night. Currently, we operate 4 nights a week, 48 weeks a year and the average attendance is close to 130 children per night.
Kids' Cafe was originally conceived as a soup kitchen/feeding program for children. Children from the local neighborhoods could come in without their parents and receive a healthy evening meal. This addressed (and continues to address) a serious need, as we found many children in the area who were unsupervised after dark and at mealtime. An after meal recreation program was added shortly after the inception of Kids' Café, as we discovered that the children also needed a safe place to play and interact with friends.
Kids' Cafe has developed into a comprehensive program that not only provides evening meals four nights a week, but also structured recreational activities, interaction with caring adults and a place where children and teens can learn and grow with the support of others. Additionally, the program provides a gateway to other Salvation Army programs including seasonal and emergency assistance, after-school tutoring centers and abstinence programs.