Bean’s Cafe History

Bean’s Cafe began with a simple vision: a warm place where those in need can find com- fort, warmth, and a helping hand. Our organization was founded by Lynn Ballew, a pro- fessor and humanitarian. She and her daughter, nicknamed ‘Bean’, moved to Alaska in 1978 and immediately began to seek the help of the community to start her day shelter, which she named Bean’s Cafe. On February 20, 1979 Lynn leased an empty warehouse across from the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Anchorage. The first to arrive were the street people – they helped paint, remodel, arrange furniture, and organize the space. Word spread of Lynn’s efforts, and people from around the world came to offer their support. Soon Bean’s Cafe was a vision realized – a place for the homeless and hungry to eat, rest, read, watch TV, make a phone call, or just relax. In 1985, Bean’s Cafe relocated to a brand new building with facilities, programs, and services – and that is where it stands today, at the corner of 3rd Avenue and Karluk Street in the heart of Anchorage.

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Board of Directors

Chairperson- Mike Prozeralik, KPB Architects

Vice Chair- Jonathan Hornak, Cornerstone Construction

Secretary- Eric West, Retired BP Alaska

Treasurer- Bernie Washington, AK Public Media

Past Chairperson- Steve Williams, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority

Jacque Evans,- E & S Diversified

Debbie Reinwand-Mcguire- Brilliant Media

Carol Gore, Cook Inlet Housing Authority

Kim Frensley, First National Bank Alaska

Ella Anagick, Law Offices of Ella Anagick

Rosie Barr

Sheri Kelly, Providence Health Systems

Kathryn Johnson, ConocoPhillips Alaska

Dr. Matthew Hirschfeld,  Southcentral Foundation


Leadership Staff:

Lisa Sauder, Executive Director | 907.433.8611 |

Kim Kovol, Deputy Director | 907.433.8620 |

Diana Arthur, Development Director | 907.433.8603 |

Ryan Keates, Finance Manager| 907.433-8600|

Adam Nauglebaugh, Volunteer Coordinator| 907.433.8602|

Scott Lingle, Bean’s Cafe Program Director |

Ginger Okumoto, The Children’s Lunchbox Program Manager | 907.297.5622 |