SAN ANTONIO – An organization dedicated to helping recovering addicts had its breakfast cafe destroyed by a flooded creek. Officials say the devastating loss is a physical representation of their mission to rebuild lives.
Teri Lopez, owner and executive director of Comfort Café San Antonio off Bandera Road, said she got a call from the neighboring business saying the area was flooded by the Zarzamora Creek on Tuesday morning.
“As soon as the road opened, we came down and saw everything,” Lopez said. “When this creek next to us, if it gets blocked, all the water floods over here. Last flood was just the floors, so we got it handled. This totally wrecked the building.”
Lopez estimates about a half-million dollars in damage to the cafe.
“All of the picnic tables in the patio area, along with our dumpsters, were washed to the back of the property,” she said. “There is a refrigerator on top of a counter. All of the booths were uplifted and thrown around. There are refrigerators and grills on top of each other. There is mud and water everywhere.”
The water flowing in was so strong, it took out a wall to the building, leaving a gaping hole for more water to rush in.
Chris Homer, the manager of the Bandera location, said he was in shock.
“I just felt this pit in my stomach,” Homer said. “I just thought, ‘Oh no!’ It is just crazy. You can’t get prepared for something like this at all. It was absolutely insane.”
Fortunately, the organization was able to clean what they could as well as board up the building.
Both Lopez and Homer feel this disaster is symbolic.
“This is what we do with people’s lives,” Lopez said. “It is a real physical representation of rebuilding.”
“We have all been at death’s door in this organization,” Homer said. “This is easy for us. We know how to do chaotic. We know how to do disaster, and we know how to do recovery. This just gives us an opportunity to show more of how we can rebuild things.”
Lopez said this flooding came just as they were bouncing back from the pandemic.
“We thought we finally made it through, and then this happened,” she said. “So we are just taking it one day at a time. A lot of the servers were a little upset looking at all of it, but we support each other, and they are not in it alone. I think it is the community that helps us get through.”
Fortunately, just weeks ago, they opened a second location in the Los Patios Plaza off Highway 410.
“We are going to just move everyone over to Los Patios, and we will be fully staffed there now,” Lopez said.
“We don’t know what the full picture,” Homer said. “We don’t know why this happened. But we know there is a purpose behind it. Even if it doesn’t make sense in the moment, we know the universe has our backs, and we are going to be supported. We just have to keep moving forward and see what shows up for us next.”
The organization, which operates as a nonprofit, is encouraging any support they could get. They plan to be open at the new location during their normal business hours at 2015 NE Loop 410.
“I am so grateful,” Lopez said. “We always see God in our lives taking care of us. It is how the nonprofit got started, and God is still in it.”