For the past eight years, Trinity Cafe has served the homeless and hungry for free in the Salvation Army's building on North Florida Avenue.
Soon, cafe officials hope to raise enough money to break ground on a new location about a mile away at the gateway of Seminole Heights: 2801 Nebraska Avenue near Columbus Drive.
"We can't tell you when we're going to open," said Cindy Davis, program director of the cafe. "It depends on raising funds to finish the project. We live on donations."
While some Seminole Heights residents say they fear the new location will contribute to an increase in neighborhood crime, Davis is hopeful that the cafe - which serves lunch to about 200 people five days a week - can expand to seven days at its new location.
Historically, other organizations have allowed the cafe to serve guests in their facilities, but opening a free-standing cafe - which is on a bus line, and walking and biking distance from their current location - was key, Davis said.
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Funds for the project have been raised for two years, Davis said, but an additional $200,000 needs to be secured through donations before construction can be completed.
"It has always been our vision to have our own free-standing restaurant and kitchen," Davis said. "The timing was right ... it seemed like the perfect place for it."
Davis also wants to use the new location to provide social services for those in need. But some residents of Seminole Heights worry that the new location will hurt the area more than help.
"I'm not really for it," said Jeff Norman of Palace Properties LLC, who lives in Seminole Heights. "All you do is bring up Trinity Cafe on Google maps and see the loitering and homeless sitting around. There's no reason to believe anything other than that will happen."
To contact the cafe, go to www.trinitycafe.org or call Davis at 813-865-4822.
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