Eating at certain restaurants will help homeless |

Eating at certain restaurants will help homeless

Artemis Lakefront Cafe at Ski Run Marina.
Sebastian Foltz / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Restaurants in South Lake Tahoe are joining to donate portions of their earnings this weekend to help the homeless.

Tahoe Good Food Gives Back is asking locals and visitors alike to eat at participating restaurants from Friday through Sunday, Oct. 4-6.

Those restaurants will donate a percentage of the money to Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless and St. Theresa’s Bread and Broth.

Charlie Cochrane began organizing this event after experiencing the homeless situation himself during a week-long trip to Lake Tahoe last summer.

“I was out walking at 6 a.m. on my first day (in Tahoe),” Cochrane said. “I was in front of Raley’s when I saw some poor soul laid out in a sleeping bag.”

Although that day was Cochrane’s wedding anniversary, he invited the man out to dinner. They went to Ace High Smokehouse & Saloon.

After that night, he spent the rest of the week looking for the man, who’s name was Alex, but didn’t find him again until the last day of his trip.

Cochrane and his wife saw Alex walking and picked him up to take him shopping at K-Mart.

Cochrane began working with Tom Makris, board member for Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless. They worked together to try to get Alex a bed at FISH Homeless Shelter in Carson City, but they were unable to.

Cochrane then bought Alex a plane ticket to Mobile, Ala., where he had family.

The experience with Alex touched Cochrane and he decided to continue helping the homeless population in South Lake Tahoe.

Makris said the homeless population in South Lake is continuing to grow, especially in the 60 years old and older population.

Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless provides a Warm Room for the homeless during the winter and outreach and education throughout the whole year.

Makris said they are working to identify people who are close to losing their homes and keep them out of the system.

The money raised from Tahoe Good Food Gives Back will help with the prevention work.

The participating restaurants are Ace High Smokehouse, Scusa Italian Ristorante, The Getaway Cafe, Izabella Ristorante Italiano and Artemis Lakefront Cafe.

Cochrane said all five restaurants were more than happy to give back for the weekend, especially since this will draw in customers during the slow season.

Both Makris and Cochrane want to continue this event in the future, hoping to add more local restaurants next year.

“We are living the luckiest lives that people have ever lived and its important to give other people the same opportunity,” Makris said.

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