Capuchin Soup Kitchen expands

The Capuchin Soup Kitchen is renovating and expanding one of its two meal program sites at 1264 Meldrum Street. The expansion and renovations, including a floor-to-ceiling redesign of the shower program, are designed to allow for a more dignified experience for guests. Construction is expected to begin in March 2023 and take approximately one year to complete. The expansion will add 1,891 sq. feet of new space to the site, bringing the total to 15,233 sq. feet.

“The Capuchin Soup Kitchen first opened its doors in 1929 and has evolved to meet people where they are at, and to walk with people experiencing challenges,” said Br. Gary Wegner, OFM Cap., executive director of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. “With these renovations and by expanding our shower program, thanks to the many benefactors who continue to support our mission, we are evolving yet again to assist with basic human and spiritual needs.”

Other enhancements include:

  • A refreshed dining room to provide a more hospitable space to enjoy a meal
  • Restaurant-style lighting
  • More color and artworks adorning the interior walls
  • An updated, more welcoming building façade and landscaping
  • More and larger windows to bring natural light into the building
  • Overall improved curb appeal

A partial second story will be added to the building, relocating office space from the ground floor to the second floor so that the ground floor can be reconfigured to accommodate the expanded shower program.

Earthworks Urban Farm, a program of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, which since inception in 1998 has operated out of a garage at the Meldrum site, will have its own dedicated building, constructed from the ground-up, adjacent to the Meldrum meal program site. During construction, Earthworks’ Meldrum Fresh Market and bicycle repair workshop will be on hiatus with an expected return in 2024.

The meal program will continue to operate throughout construction. Guests will continue to be served from the dining room while construction is underway in the office areas of the building. Social workers and chaplains will be available to meet with guests. The shower program will relocate to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen Conner meal site at 4390 Conner Street between Mack and Warren Avenue. When work begins on the dining room, the meal program will continue on a takeaway basis. The parking lot will be closed to all foot and vehicular traffic during construction. Community partners have extended assistance to ease construction-related disruptions. Neighboring Second Evergreen Missionary Baptist Church has offered the use of its parking lot to staff and visitors. Gleaners Community Food Bank has made temporary office space available for the staff of Earthworks Urban Farm.


Founded in 1929, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen serves the people of metro Detroit by providing food, clothing, and human development programs for people experiencing poverty and other challenging circumstances. Through its programs, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen addresses the needs of thousands of families and individuals each day. Capuchin Soup Kitchen programs include:

  • Two meal program sites serving three daily sit-down and take-away meals, six days per week
  • A shower program providing hygiene and clean clothes year-round
  • The Capuchin Services Center an emergency food pantry and clothing distribution site
  • Social Workers providing emergency assistance and helping with longer-term goals
  • Chaplains attending to spiritual needs
  • The Rosa Parks Children’s and Youth Program feeding young minds by providing art programs and tutoring
  • Earthworks Urban Farm – a 1.25-acre USDA-certified organic farm supplying Capuchin Soup Kitchen meal sites and educating the community on building sustainable relationships with the earth
  • On the Rise Bakery – assisting individuals re-entering society after bouts of incarceration or substance abuse
  • Jefferson House – a twelve bed residential treatment facility, assists indigent males seeking to reclaim their lives from addiction

The Capuchin Soup Kitchen is a ministry of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph, with headquarters in Detroit. The Midwest Capuchins live and minister in Illinois, Michigan, Montana and Wisconsin. For more information, visit