About the Conner Kitchen:
The Conner Kitchen was opened in early 1998 in part as a response to Michigan's welfare-to-work initiative. Located in one of the initiative's pilot areas, the Conner Kitchen serves working families and seniors. As many as one-third of its meals are served to children 12 and under. The evening meal at Conner, a nourishing meal awaits children after school and adults after work.
About Capuchin Soup Kitchen:
The Capuchin Province of St. Joseph began its Detroit ministry on Mt. Elliott Street in 1883 and developed a religious mission to live and work among the poor. The friars were offshoots of the Capuchin Order in Switzerland, spiritual advisers and confessors who found a home in the area of Detroit once known as Russell's Grove. It was common to see the friars traveling via horse and buggy. They would reach out to parishioners as far away as Roseville - a trip that was then a whole day's journey.
Within a few years, the Capuchins built the stately St. Bonaventure Monastery on Mt. Elliott - purposely locating in a neighborhood where street people were known to congregate. Soon word spread that the Capuchins would help those in need, providing spiritual counseling as well as a sandwich. In 1924, Solanus Casey, a simple man - a simple priest - arrived at the monastery and forever expanded its focus.
The Soup Kitchen got its official start during the Great Depression of 1929, a period of devastating national poverty that caused the poor of this Detroit community to knock on the monastery's back door asking for bread. "They are hungry; get them some soup and sandwiches," Fr. Solanus was known to say to the friars. In time the lines grew to more than 2,000 people waiting for their single meal of the day. The friars knew they had to do more.
In response to the time's overwhelming social needs, the friars turned to the men and women of the Secular Franciscans and joined together with them to collect food from farms, make soup, bake bread and serve meals in the hall next to the monastery. From these beginnings grew the Capuchin Soup Kitchen of today.
Those we serve
We tailor our services to the needs of our guests, whether chronic or temporary. Those who find themselves in a chronically poor circumstance typically lack effective support systems to overcome problems such as mental illness, substance abuse, physical disabilities, emotional instability, little or no education, and low self-esteem.
Others served are known as the "working poor"; they have some of the skills necessary to survive but are limited by income, education, and available resources. Many hold jobs that pay only minimum wage, or are employed in seasonal work that is not available to them through an entire year. Sadly, food is often a "luxury item" for these families. They are able to pay rent and utilities, but their meager budgets do not provide for the simple necessities of clothing and food.
The services provided by the Capuchin Soup Kitchen include:
2,000 hot meals are frequently served each day at our two locations
About 300,000 pounds of food distributed per month to families
About 30,000 articles of clothing given to clients per month
More than 500 pieces of furniture and appliances given to families each month
Showers and a change of clothing for up to 30 homeless and poorly housed persons per day
Jefferson House, a substance abuse treatment program servicing up to 12 indigent men
A children's library and art therapy studio serving up to 800 children per month
A 25,000 square foot urban farm project
Please note: The first phone number above is for Capuchin Services. The second number is for our Administrative Offices. The email address is also for our Administrative Offices.