Café Owner Considers Next Move For Homeless Ministry After Fire

After a fire at Grace United Urban Ministries, leaders say that they will continue to serve those experiencing homelessness despite significant damage.

Tuesday, January 2nd 2024, 8:00 pm

By: News 9, Mike Glover

Donna Heins loves cooking and serving food, so she opened her Clara Belle café at 825 Research Parkway in the OU medical complex. She uses the café to support her passion.

Heins discovered at an early age the effects good food can have on a person. “Making people smile when you give them something delicious to eat, and I love that, and I love cooking,” said Heins.

Her Clara Belle café allows her to bring lots of smiles.

Her giving spirit comes from her challenges, like living out of her van with her five children.“I worked at Quail Creek bank, cleaned up at the hotel, had my kids in the car, and took them to school. I cleaned the toilets at the Christian school to keep them in there,” said Heins.

Those times of being homeless, today fuel her passion to feed and care for the homeless. “Taking people out of the homeless camps, putting them in transition houses, and so when they’re ready, we’re ready. That’s what we tell them,” said Heins.  

They use the money from the café to fund their homeless ministry, Grace United Urban Ministries, but unfortunately last week there was a fire, causing significant damage, Heins was more concerned about the ministry than the damage. “Ok how are we still going to serve all these people that are standing out here crying,” said Heins.

For Heins, it was time to take those lemons and make lemonade. “They were like, what are we going to eat today? And I said we’re going to order pizza,” said Heins.

And when she served chicken the next day. “A gentleman brought me extra chicken because he saw me serving chicken,” said Heins.

A major fire and water damage don’t stand a chance against a true fighter. “I have to find a food truck, I have to find a mobile office, you know those little mobile buildings and I can set it on the side of the building, and we can keep going,” said Heins. 

Now Heins will continue feeding her homeless family while she figures out her next move. If you would like to support her efforts in a way, she can be emailed at


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