Come in
and be welcome!

The Friday Café is open every Friday from 1-5pm,
September through June at First Church in Cambridge.

Our Mission

The Friday Café at First Church in Cambridge is a welcoming space where homeless and housed neighbors can gather and get to know each other. It offers food and coffee, rest and resources to people living on the margins — but most importantly it offers community. At the Friday Café, people experiencing a wide variety of life circumstances can relax, share a meal, and talk together as friends.

For those whose lives are lived on streets and in shelters, the Friday Café offers a rare oasis of safety and welcome. It is also a place of genuine encounter. Our unique focus is on fostering connection. By bringing people together in an informal setting, we create space where fears and misconceptions about homelessness can be transformed into understanding.

The Café’s continued success depends on the ready hands of volunteers and the generosity of the community. We welcome contributions in the form of prepared food, clothing and hygiene items, and financial support.


Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Friday Café.
f you have a heart to serve, there is a place for you here!
We offer two volunteer shifts each Friday:

Opening Shift


Before guests arrive, volunteers help prepare the Friday Café for visitors: setting up tables and chairs, putting out donations, heating food, etc.

After guests arrive, volunteers offer a simple ministry of presence, sharing conversation and lunch with guests. Volunteers may also be asked to help with tasks such as counting guests as they arrive, monitoring the food and beverage tables, handing out clothing donations.

Closing Shift


From their arrival until about 5 o’clock, closing shift volunteers offer a simple ministry of presence, sharing a conversation and lunch with guests. Volunteers may also be asked to help with tasks such as counting guests as they arrive, monitoring the food and beverage tables, handing out clothing donations.

At 5, volunteers help close up the Friday Café: putting away tables and chairs, washing dishes, and returning donations to their storage places.

Rev. Kate Layzer

Director of the Friday Café

Kate Beers

Leadership Team Member

Laurie Friedman

Leadership Team Member

Devin Spring Hansen

Leadership Team Member

Rev. Thomas Hathaway

Leadership Team Member

Aaron Hume

Leadership Team Member

Barbara McLean

Leadership Team Member

Raphaela Mueller

Leadership Team Member

Community Partners

The Friday Café would like to thank all of the organizations that make our ministry possible.

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11 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Directions & Parking

First Church in Cambridge is located at 11 Garden Street, which is at the corner of Garden and Mason streets, just across Mason Street from the old Radcliffe campus and just across Garden Street from the historic Cambridge Common. We are right next door to the Sheraton Commander Hotel.

Public Transit

The closest T stop is HARVARD SQUARE, on the Red Line. For those able to climb stairs: Follow signs to the Church Street exit, turn right at the top of the stairs, cross Church Street, and take your next left on Garden Street. (Others please refer to the map.) Continue on Garden Street until you come to the corner of Mason Street. The church is also readily accessible by bus.


Parking is a challenge. Those with Cambridge resident stickers can usually find a spot along the residential streets near the church; others will need to rely on meters. The rate for Cambridge parking meters is $1.50 for 2 hours (payable by quarters or Passport app), and parking is strictly enforced, which makes parking for a Friday Café shift a challenge. Public transportation may well be your best bet.


Your contributions will directly support the Friday Café and the needs of the homeless community.
Thanks for helping us thrive!


Your financial contributions enable the Friday Café to purchase thermal underwear, blankets, toiletries and other material essentials for our guests. Please consider making a donation today!

To donate online, click the button below, then enter the amount of your gift in the box next to the Friday Café:



Each Friday we are glad to be able to offer delicious, nourishing food to all who walk through our doors. You can help by making a homemade dish for our guests to enjoy – chili, lasagna, salad, dessert, etc.

All food can be dropped off on Friday in the kitchen of First Church Cambridge. Be sure to mark your dish “Friday Café” if you leave it before 10:00 a.m. so we know it’s meant for us!


The Friday Café welcomes in-kind donations of seasonally appropriate clothing, shoes, and outerwear. No used socks or underwear, please! Toiletries and new white socks, both men’s and women’s, are also needed year-round.

If you like, use our online Amazon wish list to view our current list of needs: