In 1967, a small coffeehouse called “The Dégagé” was created. Here, college students came to listen to music, talk, have a cup of coffee. They came as they were; to be accepted and loved as Christ would love them. Today our ministry no longer looks like the quiet college coffeehouse of the ’60s. Still, much remains the same.
Every person who walks into Dégagé is treated with dignity and respect because they are created in the image of a loving God who has called them to a plan and purpose in life. In this way, the Dining Room provides a “living room” of our neighborhood, a place to call home. Dégagé fosters a sense of community for those who would otherwise feel completely alienated, alone and on the edge of society. As a result, our neighborhood has achieved high safety ratings in recent years, as neighbors take hold of this community and call it their own.
It is common to see patrons enjoying activities in the Dining Room. Volunteer groups offer bingo games, ice cream socials, karaoke contests, and other activities.
Seven days a week, breakfast and dinner meals are provided in the Dining Room. Meals are offered at a low cost with the intent of promoting dignity and responsibility. Patrons are given the opportunity to choose what meal they would like to purchase and how they would like it prepared. Such a simple gesture grants them the opportunity to exhibit self-sufficiency rather than making them feel like a perpetual charity case. Most weekend meals are donated by local churches and are free to the community.
Facts about the Dining Room
- Food is made to order by volunteers, and delivered to the patron by name.
- An average of 300 cups of coffee are enjoyed in the Dining Room each day.
- Approximately 55,000 free and low-cost meals are served per year.
- To be environmentally responsible, food is served on real plates and silverware is provided.