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Arizona: So where is the wine bar/cafe to benefit poor Americans?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 21, 2013

Catholic Charities Community Services of Arizona has launched a new enterprise to benefit refugees surely using mostly taxpayer dollars.  From their latest Form 990, here (page 9), we learned that of the $26 million they took in that recent year, $23 million is from taxpayer funds.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted blessing the Refugee Cafe.

Call me a cynic!  But, why are they in the “business” of setting up wine bars and cafes, and why do they find the world’s downtrodden of more interest than the local downtrodden?  That last is what I don’t get?   Why is the “other” more attractive (cool!) to them?  Or, perhaps this is just clever marketing for Catholic Inc.?

From the Catholic Sun (hat tip: Joanne):

A new coffee shop and wine bar has commuters and residents in the Camelback Corridor investing in more than a little “R and R.” They’re supporting the livelihood of local refugee families.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted blessed The Refuge AZ, a new coffee shop and wine bar Dec. 5 as part of a grand opening and “coffee cake cutting” event. It opened this fall as a social enterprise effort of Catholic Charities Community Services.

The café, 4727 N. 7th Ave., sits just south of Catholic Charities and has already provided supplemental support to 20 refugee families in its first seven weeks of business. Local refugee families that are also Catholic Charities clients benefit from food and beverage sales including Café Esperanza, a private label blend that customers can bring home.

I bet there are some “long periods of suffering” right there in Arizona!

Bishop Olmsted called The Refuge a great project and looks forward to coming back. He commented on the many refugees who come from far away, especially the Middle East after long periods of suffering.

“We have the privilege and the honor of receiving them and loving them in this place,” the bishop said. “Refugees need to be able to make a livelihood for themselves.”

They have a vice president of business development at Catholic Charities?  Are they using taxpayer dollars to out-compete a private business of this kind with refugees as the drawing card?

Steve Capobres, vice president of business development for Catholic Charities, said it was important to give refugees a venue to showcase their artistic and musical talents. As ambassadors welcoming nearly 1,000 refugees a year to the community, he said new outreach through the café is the least Catholic Charities can do.

I’ll bet a million bucks that if they weren’t being funded by you, and had to use private charitable gifts, there would be no cool refugee cafe.

2 Responses to “Arizona: So where is the wine bar/cafe to benefit poor Americans?”

  1. We are being had by Catholic Inc. I can’t believe this is not criminal. They are taking taxpayer money for refugee resettlement, and financing coffee and wine bars to be run by refugees with an incredibly low cost base (we paid for it!). It’s criminal.


  2. Brittius said

    Reblogged this on


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