Inspiration Corporation’s Original Program
We served more than 56,000 meals at Inspiration Cafe last fiscal year.
Located at 4554 N Broadway in Uptown on Chicago’s north side, Inspiration Cafe is Inspiration Corporation’s original program. The Cafe provides restaurant-style meals to those experiencing homelessness in an atmosphere of dignity and respect, as well as to-go meals for any community member in need of nutritional support.
Meals are cooked and served by volunteers. Seated meals at Inspiration Cafe are only open to individuals who are actively enrolled in the program, which focuses on those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. To-go meals include several hot options along with bagged lunches, and are available to anyone who visits the cafe. To-go meals are served during the lunch hour each week day.
In addition to offering meals, Inspiration Cafe operates a food pantry that is open to Inspiration Corporation participants.
How It Started
Inspiration Cafe was founded in 1989 by Lisa Nigro, who was searching for a personal response to the people experiencing homelessness she encountered in Uptown. She began by loading up a red wagon with sandwiches and coffee to distribute to individuals on the streets. Today, the Cafe is still the heart and soul of the thriving organization, which has grown up around it. If you are interested in being a part of our work, click the link below to learn more about volunteering.
Located at 3504 W Lake in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, Inspiration Kitchens is our social enterprise restaurant and job training facility, and is open to the paying public. Inspiration Kitchens was opened in 2011, with proceeds from our restaurant going to support our job training programming.