Mokabe's Makes Helping the Homeless on Cold Winter Nights Super Easy

Categories: Community

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Mokabe's
When the temperature at night dips below twenty degrees, an eclectic group of south city neighbors meet at Mokabe's Coffeehouse on Arsenal and prepare to spend the night in the cold.

Mo Costello, who owns the South Grand spot, describes the group as a ragtag group of part-missionaries-part-anarchists who leave their warm homes on St. Louis' most bitter nights and distribute gloves, hats, blankets, food and more to those living in the streets.

"We always look like we're angels, but really these folks are incredibly welcoming and grateful," Costello says. "We are strangers, and they are kind enough to let us see if they need anything. Every time we're out there, whether it's an encampment or the door nook at Christ Church Cathedral...we help to lighten their burden."

The winter supplies volunteers pass out come from local donations. Neighbors can drop off gloves, hats or even casseroles at Mokabe's, and volunteers will take to homeless people on the coldest night. The organization is not -- and has no plans to become -- a 501c3 nonprofit, so donations big and small go "straight to the streets," Costello says.

If you're feeling guilty about making someone else trek through the cold to pass out your glove or blanket donations, don't, says Costello. "We just have a ball," she tells the Daily RFT. "We can pretend we are altruistic, but really, we love it. It feeds our heart."

See also: Group Can't Serve Hot Food To Homeless Without Permit, Says STL Health Dept.

All are welcome to join the loosely organized, non-hierarchical outreach group made up most nights with several women older than 50 and college students. The group is always looking for new volunteers to like their Facebook page and join the Yahoo group to find out when they'll head to the streets.

"People ask us all the time, 'What church are you with?'" says Costello, who is 61. The group has no religious affiliation. "You don't have to pray. It's just heart to heart."

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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MoKabe's Coffeehouse

3606 Arsenal St., St. Louis, MO

Category: General

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15 comments
Bryan Byerly
Bryan Byerly

Andrea Spencer, everytime I hear this.place, I think of you.. d'awwww . #flashback #aol #thesign

Holly Schroeder
Holly Schroeder

The following items ONLY can be dropped off at Mokabe's: men's hats, gloves, scarves, and socks. Blankets. Thanks!

anika.walke
anika.walke

Donations (blankets, gloves, hats, scarves) can be dropped off at MoKaBes Coffeehouse at 3606 Arsenal @ Grand during business hours.

Kati Lynn
Kati Lynn

What time is best to drop off donations?

Trey Baur
Trey Baur

There's plenty to help out all living things . Just do it !

Larry Scheller
Larry Scheller

If only there was as much of this as obsession with saving cat's and dog's. I care about the cute furry animals to.

Vanessa Cosentino
Vanessa Cosentino

Id like to drop some blankets and things tomorrow...what a great gesture.

Matt Wheaton
Matt Wheaton

Everyone at MoKaBes is awesome. Mo and her family were very good to me. I am very greatful for everything they did!

fourseeds6
fourseeds6

The Mokabe's crew has always done good work for those in the community. It's good to see them getting some press so people know where to donate, and where to go if they need some help.


Another way to help out or get help:  on December 14th, Food Not Bombs will be hosting its' Winter Mutual Aid at the CAMP building at 3022 Cherokee street from 1-4pm. We serve vegan and vegetarian meals. We also have warm clothes, toys, canned goods, and hygiene items donated to us from the community. 


So if you know someone in need, sent them our way. No questions asked.


https://www.facebook.com/events/223406537783807/

Tonya_Aria
Tonya_Aria

@DomesticCatlady You're welcome. It sounds wonderful. If I lived in St. Louis I would get involved. Good luck with the plumbing issues!

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