When someone walks up to Honey’s Place, they will often first sign up for a shower and then turn and walk to my area: the coffee.
The community that forms around coffee was a large part of Honey’s Place and HOPE Missions of the Upstate’s initial inspiration. There’s something about being served a cup of hot coffee (usually with an unbelievable amount of sugar, creamer, and sometimes hot chocolate added in) and having a safe place to sit and drink it that creates an atmosphere for community — at least for a couple of hours a few days a week.
It’s always interesting to see different little groups forming and chatting with their mugs of java. I’m not sure how much we brew each morning, but it’s lots of pots. I can watch bodies that have been through who knows what relax at least a bit as they sit and sip.
This week we had a new woman come in. She was extremely sad and scared and upset. She was given a blanket, some breakfast, and a mug of coffee. Then one of our regular customers, who suffers from her own pains and issues, patted the chair beside her and said, “Sit here Honey.” And they drank their coffee side by side, a community of two, sharing silently a safe space from the sufferings of the streets.