Cedar Rapids Nonprofit Close to Finding New Home
Last week, Linn County, unfortunately, had to notify the organizers of "Bridge under the Bridge" that they would have to move from the spot their food truck and trailer have occupied since the 2020 derecho.
The nonprofit organization, run by Bridgette Williams-Robinson and her husband, Jovountae Robinson formed after the August 10, 2020 derecho, has been serving free meals to the community "under the bridge" of Interstate 380 along Eighth Avenue SW. This is near the Linn County Juvenile Detention Center, which according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, last week asked the Iowa DOT to have the Robinsons move after complaints that the site was not being properly cleaned or maintained, obstructing public parking spaces, and the alleged failure to take care of it after an elapsed time frame. Regarding that, Williams-Robinson said:
[We want to] emphasize our apologies for any involuntary lack of care of the space that was offered to us, we do have many pieces of a pie that we have begun to slice. … We don't want to be a burden but a beacon of light that shines on those that need help the most.
The city of Cedar Rapids, including Mayor Tiffany O'Donnell, has since stepped in to help the Robinsons find a new home, which hasn't been identified but at least one private residence, as well as space at the Cedar Rapids Public Library parking lot, have been offered or suggested among a handful of locations.
Bridgette Williams-Robinson said she and her husband have been overwhelmed by the support and will be able to choose a new location by the end of this week.
The Robinsons have been a community asset since the derecho, as they sprung into action serving meals in the days after the derecho when much of the city was without power. They've continued to do so even as the city continues to recover, and in those early days, they even caught national attention, being gifted a new trailer by Good Morning America.
With the good has, unfortunately, come the bad, as the nonprofit had to deal with their generator being stolen three different times.
Here's hoping they can find a new home soon, one where a fresh start is possible with no such issues to worry about. We'll keep you posted as to where they end up.