Free winter dinners at Three Chimneys take off

Three Chimneys cafe owner Brad Davies. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Three Chimneys cafe owner Brad Davies. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

The weekly Winter Warmer community dinners at Three Chimneys are growing in popularity, with more than 100 people filling the cafe on Tuesday night.

An initiative to benefit the homeless and less fortunate, Three Chimneys collected money from each coffee sold in July to fund free dinners through August.

This week’s gathering was the biggest yet, garnering the support of several Illawarra community centres and housing agencies who encouraged their clients to attend.

“We got social workers to bring their clients so they feel comfortable in the building,” said cafe owner Brad Davies.

Three Chimneys distributed vouchers to local agencies and centres, which could be redeemed on the night for a meal and warm drink.

“I want to reach anyone who might need a meal, so they can have a good night, be around people and socialise.''

Mr Davies said he had also hired a bus to pick up people who could not otherwise reach the cafe on Tuesday night, with a total of 110 homeless or disadvantaged people filling the venue.

“We wanted to rally the people these agencies look after so they felt more comfortable, so we went out and picked up anyone who needed a lift or didn’t have transport,” Mr Davies said.

The cafe is now looking to secure government funding to ensure the program’s future, as well as mobilising community centres around the Illawarra to ensure their clients make it to the last scheduled dinner next Tuesday.

“I want to reach anyone who might need a meal, so they can have a good night, be around people and socialise,” Mr Davies said.

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