Our Mission

Bean’s Cafe exists to fight hunger for all ages, one meal at a time, while providing a pathway to self-sufficiency with dignity and respect. Our current focus is feeding the hungry and homeless in our community and thanks to you we have been able to successfully serve in excess of 1.4 million meals since March 2020.

Bean’s Cafe History

Bean’s Cafe began with a simple vision: a warm place where those in need can find comfort, warmth, and a helping hand. Our organization was founded by Lynn Ballew, a professor 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 –  at the corner of 3rd Avenue and Karluk Street in the heart of Anchorage.

While this particular building no longer houses Bean's Cafe, it is where the long history of the organization began. Our current operations are headquartered in our Administration office at 4th and Juneau.

Original Bean's Cafe location in the early 1980s

A Community Thanksgiving

Christmas Meal 2016

Executive Director Lisa Sauder with Client Volunteer of the Year Gerald Henry

Board of Directors

  • Chairperson Jonathan Hornak, Cornerstone Construction
  • Vice Chair Debbie Reinwand-Mcguire, Brilliant Media
  • Secretary Dr. Matthew Hirschfeld, Alaska Native Medical Center
  • Treasurer Carol Gore, Cook Inlet Housing Authority
  • Steve Williams Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
  • Kim Frensley First National Bank Alaska
  • Ella Anagick, Law Offices of Ella Anagick
  • Rosie Barr
  • Brook Goss, Retired AFD/EMS
  • Teresa Jacobsson, JW Industries Group/Alaska Tribal Administrators Assoc.
  • Jamie McGrady, Federal Public Defender

Leadership Staff

  • Lisa Sauder, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) | 907.917.9076 | lsauder@beanscafe.org
  • Scott Lingle, Chief Operating Officer (COO)  | 907.917.9078 | slingle@beanscafe.org
  • Kayla Tulimasealii, Executive Coordinator | 907.433.8601 | ktulimasealii@beanscafe.org>
  • April Mathers, Finance Manager | 907.433-8620 | amathers@beanscafe.org
  • Diana Arthur, Development & Communications Director | 907.632.3349 | darthur@beanscafe.org
  • Cassie Cowan, Human Resources Manager | 907.433.8601 | hr@beanscafe.org
  • Aaron Dollison, Food Services Operations Manager | 907.917.9080 | adollison@beanscafe.org
  • Stacia Wierzbicki, Operations Manager- Facilities | 907-744-2705 | swierzbicki@beanscafe.org
  • Benny Briggs, Program Manager- Support Services | 907-917-9072 | bbriggs@beanscafe.org


To view our most recent IRS form 990, please search for us under EIN: 92-0072522 on the IRS Exempt Organization Search.  Audited financial statements are here:  2020/2021 information

Our current expense ratios are: 10% Administration and 90% programs.

Programs = 20% The Children's Lunchbox, 20% Streets to Success, 50% Bean’s Cafe