SPiN Cafe: a vital resource!

Michele Chapman is Executive Director of SPiN Cafe.

The last 6 months have been a blessing not only to the guests that come to SPiN, but also to those of us who serve.  We re-opened our doors on February 3, 2021 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church adding the Day Shelter to our Sack Lunch program.  The Day Shelter is open from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday and provides a safe, dry place for people to rest, access wi-fi, get beverages, snacks and lunch.  Many of our guests arrive first thing in the morning from The Haven, some come to us on the transit bus or on foot, and some by private vehicle. 

Not only is SPiN Café a resource for food and rest, but we offer connections to other organizations such as Island County Housing, DSHS, The Opportunity Council, Island Transit to name a few.  We offer no-cost laundry services at Dutch Maid Laundromat every Thursday morning. We will soon have computers for our guests to use to access email, appointments, and other online only services. 

Laundry services were crucial to SPiN’s original mission and remain a vital part of what we do.

Our staff and volunteers engage each guest, treating everyone with dignity and respect.  We enjoy our work at SPiN and know that we truly make a difference in the lives of so many marginalized individuals.  Most of us will never know what it is like to be homeless, to have all your worldly possessions in a few carry bags or a suitcase and to rely on the generosity of total strangers.

SPiN Café has been blessed in so many ways! We are blessed by the generosity of our partner Churches who have provided 25-30 lunches at Hal Ramaley Park and at SPiN 7 days a week for the past 16 months.  We are blessed by the many, many individuals who stop by with food, water, clothing, shoes, gift cards and hygiene products.  We are blessed by the partnerships we have with Good Cheer Food Bank, Penn Cove Coffee Roasters, Grocery Outlet, I Support the Girls, Whidbey Community Foundation, Island County Mental Health and Island County Housing Authority.  We work with Whidbey Homeless Coalition to support each other’s services to homeless and at-risk individuals.  We have a good working relationship with OHPD, relying on their support to keep our operations safe for our guests and our neighbors.

With the support of our community, SPiN serves over 500 meals every month.

We are extremely grateful for the financial and in-kind support we receive from our supporters.  Looking to the future we are hoping to include dinner service 3 to 5 days a week very soon and eventually move into our own building/space.  Adding meal service will cost an additional $40,000 to 60,000 per year in labor and supply costs.

I want to thank the many, many people and organizations that make SPiN Café work—from the Board of Directors, to our dedicated staff, to our volunteers, to our financial supporters and our in-kind supporters.  We couldn’t do this without you!

Stop by sometime and say Hello–we would love to meet you in person and have you visit with us and our guests.

Michele Chapman

Executive Director