CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- The Salvation Army now is brewing coffee here.
The Inman Street Coffeehouse opened to the public Friday with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting.
From regular joe to espresso creations, smoothies to pastries, the coffeehouse has all the features patrons would expect.
The difference is that its sales support the Salvation Army's efforts to help the community's poor, homeless and needy.
"When you buy a cup of coffee or a pastry here, that money goes into these programs," said Sgt. Ruthie Forgey, with the local organization.
Also inside the new space are social services, youth programs and a worship place.
About 60 to 80 people, from the affluent to the homeless, attend Sunday evening services there, she said.
The coffeehouse is the first of its kind in the Salvation Army's Southern Region, which stretches from Texas to Washington, D.C., Forgey said.
Cooper Hill, a Salvation Army board member, said the coffeehouse also "allows the public to learn more about the Salvation Army and what it does. Oftentimes you only see the shield [logo] and not what's behind it."
The project was "already in the works" when the April tornadoes hit, board member Dwight Richardson said.
The coffeehouse wasn't ready to open, but the new space played host to an assembly line for thousands of sack lunches.
"God is good and has perfect timing," Forgey said. "He knew we didn't need to be open yet."
Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...