Jídelna Kuchařek bez domova / photo via Facebook @jidelnakbd

Prague café staffed by homeless women will reopen this week

Temporarily shuttered last year, the vegan canteen and catering service will open its doors to the public again this week

“Homelike” is the English translation for Jako Doma the first NGO focused on gender-specific homelessness in the Czech Republic. The organization’s aim is to bring the issue of female homelessness, often linked to domestic violence, into larger Czech society.

Among their activities is the Cooks Without Homes project (Jídelna Kuchařek bez domova), launched in 2017, a café where staffers are all homeless women who “like cooking and want to share their culinary skills with others and break the barriers between the public and the homeless.”

Jídelna Kuchařek bez domova / photo via Facebook @jidelnakbd

The Smíchov-area bistro, which serves vegan fare and uses seasonal local ingredients and “fugly” vegetables, is also affordable.

“Compared to conventional restaurants and cafés we offer food at a price that is accessible to people who cannot afford to visit the usual restaurants, especially those focused on healthy cuisine,” said Eva Kundrátová, one of the participating chefs when the space opened a few years ago.

Jídelna Kuchařek bez domova / photo via Facebook @jidelnakbd

The canteen re-opens again on November 6, after closing down for a period of time last year. Typically open just for lunch, the restaurant will operate throughout the evening on its opening day serving baked goods such as cakes, strudels, quiche, and pizza bread, as well as a lunch menu of garlic soup, potato gnocchi, roasted root vegetables, and pancakes.

Free coffee will be served and an acoustic set by Czech punk accordionist Stinka is scheduled.

Jako Doma also organizes year-round public events where people can sample the group’s catering efforts and pop up at Prague festivals and markets. They also conduct extensive research focused on the situation of homeless women in the Czech Republic while offering a complex support system of legal and social help as well as shelters and a “showers for homeless women” initiative.

Some 23,830 homeless people, including 2,600 minors under 18, lived in the Czech Republic in the spring.

Men made up 80 percent of the homeless who spend the night outdoors in public hostels, while the share of men and women is more equal in asylum homes with 30 percent of women, 38 percent of men and 32 percent of children.

Jídelna Kuchařek bez domova canteen is located at Brožíkova 5. For a schedule of the opening day’s event or to support the group’s activities, see here.

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