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Refuge Café Closing June 30 to Make Way for Acacia Heights Affordable Housing Apartment Complex; Serving the Community’s Most Vulnerable at Another Level

PHOENIX, Ariz. (June 23, 2022): Refuge Café on 7th Ave in Phoenix, a social enterprise of Catholic Charities Community Services to “support services for our community’s most vulnerable,” will continue a legacy of service, but from a new direction.

The café, which greeted its first customer at 7 a.m. on Oct. 16, 2013, will serve its final cup of coffee from its original 7th Ave. location on June 30 as it makes way for the Acacia Heights affordable housing complex, a partnership with Trinity Housing Development of Springfield, Mo. and Catholic Charities Community Services affiliate, Housing of Hope, that will serve low-income families. The Café still has an affiliate location inside Terminal 4 at Sky Harbor Airport. In addition, Refuge will continue roasting and selling its private label coffee online at

The final two phases of Acacia Heights at 7th Avenue just south of Camelback Road in the Melrose Boutique District received final funding earlier this month. Construction will begin in the next several weeks on the 66-unit Phase Two and 68-unit Phase Three. A blessing-of-the-ground ceremony is planned at 3 p.m. on June 30.

Since 2011, Housing for Hope, Inc. has rehabilitated or developed 700 units primarily in Maricopa County and Catholic Charities provides resident services specialists for its Phoenix area communities to help residents overcome barriers to remaining successfully housed.

“Refuge Café has had a great run the last eight years, earning both accolades and awards, including Best Nonprofit Restaurant in 2016, as a wonderful gathering place for people engaged in helping others,” said Catholic Charities Community Services Vice President of Business Development Steve Capobres. “That same commitment to serving others will carry the café’s legacy forward to the many families who will soon call Acacia Heights home.”

During its time, the Refuge Café on 7th Ave. showcased artwork by local artists, including from children at Free Arts, as well as local musicians, provided a venue for fund-raising events and offered a platform for refugees and young people to learn job and life skills.

The restaurant was named Best Coffee Shop in 2019 and 2022 by Eat This, Not That!, was voted among the top 50 restaurants in 2019 based on Yelp reviews and a Top 20 Wine Bar by The Arizona Republic in 2014.

“We are extremely grateful to the community that helped support the Refuge Café and those men, women and families who were the beneficiaries of that support,” said Capobres.

Fifty-seven of Acacia Heights Phase Two’s units will be designated for households between 40% and 60% of median income. Nine units will be designated as workforce housing units for individuals up to 100% of median income.

The unit mix includes 21 one-bedroom apartments, 21 two-bedroom apartments, 21 three-bedroom apartments and three four-bedroom, two-bath apartments. Total development costs are approximately $24.3 million.

Acacia Heights Phase Three, a single five-story building will and provide a mixture of 35 one-bedroom apartments, 18 two-bedroom apartments and 15 three-bedroom units. Units are targeted for families with incomes between 40% and 60% of median income. Total project development costs are approximately $24.6 million.

Amenities for both phases include a community room, outdoor courtyard, play area, sport court and community garden. Residents will access the secure building through a control entry with security cameras added for resident security. The convenient mid-town location is near the light rail, bus stops and shopping. Catholic Charities will also staff the community with resident services specialists who will assist residents in remaining housed by providing free and low-cost activities for children and families, community events, referrals for free local resources and a mobile food pantry.

Rents will be affordable based on the household income, ranging from $600-$900 a month for a one bedroom, $700-$1,100 for a two-bedroom and $800-$1,200 for a three-bedroom unit.

Architectural Resource Project is the architect and Biltmore Properties, Inc. will be responsible for property management.

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Jean Christofferson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Catholic Charities Community Services

About Catholic Charities Community Services

Founded in 1933, Catholic Charities provides care for the vulnerable of all faiths in Central and Northern Arizona through programs in foster care, early education, affordable housing, veteran services, refugee resettlement, and homeless outreach. Learn more by visiting