Hope in the face of hardship: Pit Stop Community Cafe is a social enterprise by independent citizens with a heart for KL's urban working poor & homeless. A short stroll from Central Market, the cafe is taking on a mission that's complex & challenging - for a start, it's offering warm, nourishing meals to anyone in the neighbourhood who needs them, from the man who barely makes a living as a security guard down the road to the teenagers who've been living on the streets nearby for months. But it wants to also do more, bringing together people & organisations to make a long-term positive impact on lives.
The cafe is slated to start operating formally in two months, but it's mounting a trial run this week - every evening through Sunday, April 10, from 5:30pm onwards, home-cooked porridges & stews will be served on communal tables, with bread from Taman Tun Dr Ismail's Der Backmeister bakery; eat & pay whatever you like, to support Pit Stop's efforts, or nothing at all, if you can't afford it. In June, a wider selection will be offered, with fixed prices for paying customers, who will also be able to purchase suspended meals - a system in which you pay in advance for a meal that someone else can claim for free later if they lack cash. Restaurants & food wholesalers will be invited to channel leftover edible products to the cafe. In addition, people seeking a job can try finding employment in Pit Stop's future kitchen. And besides food, the venue will also be a source of other necessities, from bathing soaps to mosquito coils, clean towels to toilet paper, & sewing kits to water tumblers.
Pit Stop, whose founders have leased a three-storey shop-house on Tun H.S. Lee Road, aims to become a dedicated centre for other services too: This week, volunteers have held impromptu English-language classes for visiting youngsters. There'll be a help desk here eventually, with practical amenities such as providing a mailing address for people who require one. Selected volunteers might offer assistance in writing resumes or other forms of counselling. Shower facilities are in the pipeline. And if things go well, Pit Stop wants to serve as a coordination base for NGOs that work in social services to collaborate with each other. That's a lot on their plate - if you'd like to keep up with Pit Stop or contact them, facebook.com/pitstopcafekl is their site.
Pit Stop Community Cafe
101, Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, Kuala Lumpur. Two doors up from Bangkok Bank. facebook.com/pitstopcafekl
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