It’s been a long time coming – the Kettle’s Recovery Café has officially opened its permanent site in Vancouver. This follows a temporary pop-up location in early 2022 donated by Tanjit Kalhar with equipment funded by Vancouver Police Foundation and operations funding supported by Giustra Foundation.
The Recovery Café is a place of belonging where people pursuing recovery – whether it’s from poverty, homelessness, isolation, mental health challenges, trauma, unemployment, or substance use – can participate in an intentional community of mutual support and work towards their recovery goals.
The strength of this evidence-based model is the weekly recovery circle meetings. Members commit to attending the mandatory weekly recovery circles – groups of 8-10 peers who hold themselves and each other accountable for achieving their goals each week. They contribute to the care of the space and the operation of the community and can partake in activities together, attend life skills workshops, and share warm meals. The Recovery Café will positively affect its members, as well as housing and homelessness service providers, and local neighbourhoods by providing a new resource and opportunity for marginalized people to come inside, enjoy a specialty coffee, experience hope, and find a sense of belonging.
Margaret Hope, Co-founder of 625 Powell Street Foundation with her late husband, Carl Vanderspek, bought and renovated the building for Canada’s first Recovery Café. There are 48 Recovery Cafés south of the border.
“Recovery Café provides a space and opportunities to transform their lives. Recovery is about going running or walking together at lunch. It’s about having a pet and learning to care of them or looking after your teeth. And it’s learning to do these things with the support of the community. There’s a hopefulness about it and a practicality. No task is too small to be addressed. I love that about it,” says Margaret. “We’re excited to be partnering with the Kettle and their passionate staff to bring the Recovery Café to Vancouver.”
Now that the permanent site has opened, the Kettle is expecting to have 100 new members by summer of 2023, and up to 300 in the next few years.
The Giustra Foundation generously provided the lead donation to Streetohome’s 5-year operations seed funding commitment of $2M to the permanent site. Other donors have since come on board to support the café.
“I’m pleased to support Canada’s first Recovery Café in Vancouver. This Café will fill a gap in the system of supports in our city, providing an opportunity for individuals recovering from substance use, unemployment, mental health, poverty, trauma and homelessness to find a place to be known, loved and create friendships with other members as they work together on personal goals while moving forward in their lives,” says Frank Giustra, Founder of The Giustra Foundation.
Streetohome is continuing to fundraise $1.7M to ensure that many more individuals have an opportunity to change their lives as they connect with and support one another on their preferred life journeys.