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Basic Needs Services

The Gathering Place

Located on 1448 E Street in Lincoln, The Gathering Place serves free evening meals to homeless and near-homeless individuals and families living in our community. Meals are served Monday through Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

History of The Gathering Place

In May of 1982, The Gathering Place opened its doors on 1448 E. Street in Lincoln, Nebraska. Originally designed as a hospitality center, its mission, according to one of the original founders, was to establish a house that could be turned into a place “where anyone with special concern for the poor, elderly, lonely, homeless, hungry, differently abled, and disenfranchised would feel welcome.” The Gathering Place founders envisioned the house as a place where people from all walks of life could be in the fellowship of one another so as to fill a void in the spiritual community in Lincoln.

Within the doors of the cozy, brick home built in 1906, The Gathering Place offered its guests multiple ways to feel welcome and accepted: lunches were served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., coffee and dessert were served from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and classes, seminars, workshops, one-to-one counseling, spiritual direction, consciousness raising and self-help groups were offered to all who may benefit.

But two years after its opening, the Gathering Place founders recognized the growing problem of hunger, homelessness, and social isolation among low-income people in Lincoln. To respond to this need, The Gathering Place transformed from a hospitality center into what it is currently – a soup kitchen. Now in its 31st year, The Gathering Place is a program of Community Action and serves over 30,000 meals annually to those who face hunger in Lincoln. Evening meals are served Monday through Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and bread and fresh produce are distributed two nights a week. This important work is made possible through the hard work and dedication of over 1,700 volunteers annually, and contributions from the community.

Though its offerings have changed throughout the years, The Gathering Place is still very much a reflection of its original vision as a place where people from all walks of life can come together, converse, and if only for an hour or two, gather together as one.

Want to Know More?

If you are interested in finding out more about The Gathering Place, or are looking for ways to help, please contact:

Michael Ryan, Gathering Place Administrator
(402) 476-7398
mryan@communityactionatwork.org