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.

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/Children's Lunchbox kitchen at 4th and Juneau and in our new kitchen and warehouse at 1524 Ship Avenue.

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- Teresa Jacobsson, JW Industries Group/AK Tribal Administrators Assoc.
  • Treasurer Carol Gore, Cook Inlet Housing Authority
  • Kim Frensley First National Bank Alaska
  • Ella Anagick, Law Offices of Ella Anagick
  • Rosie Barr
  • Brook Goss, Retired Anchorage Fire Department/EMS
  • Jamie McGrady, Federal Public Defender
  • Dave M. Valdez, COO Alaska Wealth Advisors

Leadership Staff

  • Scott Lingle, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) | 907.917.9078   slingle@beanscafe.org
  • Brian Fassnidge, Chief Operating Officer (COO) | 907.917.9076  bfassnidge@beanscafe.org
  • Fony Imawan, Finance Manager | 907.433-8620                    finance@beanscafe.org
  • Liza Dizon, Volunteer & Social Media Coordinator | 907.433.8603 ldizon@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
  • Amber Morrison Waters, Program Manager- Support Services | 907-310-5384  amwaters@beanscafe.org
  • Christine McLeod, Executive Coordinator | 907.433.8601 cmcleod@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