Capuchin Services Center

The Capuchin Services Center serves as the distribution site for emergency food and clothing, assisting 228,000 community members annually.

The Center features a “shoppers’ choice” food pantry resembling a small grocery store, complete with reach-in freezers and coolers, vegetable and fruit islands, and bread and pastry racks. The food pantry distributes more than 10,000 pounds of food each day. Each guest is granted a designated number of pounds of food based on family size. Families are eligible for food assistance every thirty days, and receive sufficient food to feed a family of four for a week. A typical food package contains ten pounds of meat, canned and boxed dry goods, and fresh produce and fruit.

The clothing distribution area provides a “retail” feel to the shopping experience and distributes over 1,700 articles of clothing each day. The Center also distributes appliances and furniture for families reestablishing households after a fire or a stay in a shelter. There are no geographic eligibility criteria; however, all recipients of service are interviewed by an emergency assistance worker.

Case management services are provided by degreed social workers, and support groups are offered for mothers and grandparents raising grandchildren. Donations of food, clothing and appliances and furniture in good condition are gratefully accepted.

Meal Program

The Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s two meal program sites—Conner and Meldrum—serve full-course, nutritious meals to hundreds of men, women, and children each day. While monetary donations are gratefully accepted, no one is denied a meal because of their inability to pay. There is no eligibility criteria, and meals are served in spacious, clean and attractive settings.

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 Meldrum site is located one block from the original soup kitchen location on Mt. Elliott and serves the chronically poor. Approximately 600 meals a day are served at the Meldrum Kitchen. Our Meldrum guests are typically male, experiencing homelessness or in unstable housing, often diagnosed with a mental illness and/or substance abuse addiction. In addition, this facility provides showers and clean clothing to give those in need a fresh focus and an increased sense of dignity and self-worth.

Whereas a portion of the food prepared and served in the kitchens is donated, the major part is purchased—preferably from Michigan producers. Both locations strive to be mindful of environmental concerns by composting organic food waste, and utilizing recyclable consumables and “earth-friendly” cleaning products.

Earthworks Urban Farm

The Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s Earthworks Urban Farm is a 2.5-acre farm located on the eastside of Detroit, 1.5 acres of which is certified organic. Earthworks seeks to promote sustainable agricultural practices, nutrition, and care for the Earth—striving for peace, respect, and harmony between neighbor and nature. As a working study in both social justice and in knowing the origins of the food we eat, their goal is to build a just, beautiful food system through education, inspiration, and community development.

As the only certified organic farm in the city, a wide variety of vegetables are grown using no herbicides and no pesticides. The harvest is distributed among neighborhood residents and utilized in the meals served in the Soup Kitchen dining rooms. Earthworks relies on the generous donations from supporters, and on time and materials from sponsors and volunteers.

On The Rise Bakery

Sponsored by the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, On The Rise Bakery is a unique program run by members of the ROPE (Reaching Our Potential Everyday) program. Their bakers are men who have recently been released from prison or have completed a substance abuse treatment program and desire to truly change their lives.

On The Rise Bakery recently made an exciting move to their new location inside the Solanus Casey Center. In this program, each man is responsible for reaching back and supporting the newest member. This social entrepreneurship would not have been possible without the tremendous support of so many churches and individuals in the Metro Detroit area. With each purchase of their baked goods, you are helping make possible the provision of supportive housing, training, counseling services, educational opportunities, and self-help programs.

Store Hours
7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday – Saturday
Sunday and Monday

Jefferson House

The Jefferson House is a twelve-bed residential treatment facility for indigent males seeking to reclaim their lives from addictions. During the six- to nine-month program, residents learn to practice honesty, courage, and other virtues essential to the development of a sober, healthy, and happy life.

Residents participate in twelve-step recovery meetings, and are encouraged to continue such participation following their departure from Jefferson House. The program also provides opportunity to work at other Capuchin Soup Kitchen locations, for which the men are paid a modest stipend. New residents to Jefferson House are admitted via referral from inpatient substance abuse treatment programs. Jefferson House is accredited by CARF International and is one of the top 3% of therapeutic communities who received no recommendations for needed program revisions during CARF’s most recent triennial accreditation review.

Rosa Parks Children/Youth Program

The Rosa Parks Children & Youth Program seeks to stretch the minds of young people, stimulate their creativity, and explore with them alternatives to violence.

This is accomplished by means of after-school tutoring and art therapy sessions for children ages 6-15, a lending library of over 5,000 books, and numerous seasonal family activities such as making Christmas cookies and decorating Easter eggs. Teen boys’ and girls’ groups and a junior counselor program focus on the development of youth leadership.

Every summer, they also host a three-week Peace Camp for all children, featuring art, drama, music, dance, peacemaking classes, and field trips. Other summer priorities include a one-week leadership camp, a three-week academic camp, and a garden program that meets 4 times a week throughout the spring and summer.

Capuchin Retreat Center

The Capuchin Retreat is a center of Franciscan spirituality and retreat situated on 95 wooded acres in Washington Township, Michigan. This beautiful park-like setting provides a fantastic respite from busy daily life. With a focus on the Spirit of the Franciscan tradition of hospitality and simplicity, the facilities include a dining hall, gorgeous walking trails, and a gift shop.

A typical retreat weekend begins with orientation at 7:30pm on Friday evening. Throughout the weekend, four conferences are given. Prayer experiences are led by staff members and liturgies are celebrated on Saturday and Sunday. Ample time is allotted for personal prayer, reflection, and rest. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is made available and healing service is offered. Staff members are also available for individual consultation with retreatants. The program concludes with a meal following the Sunday morning liturgy.