Streetohome is proud to partner with the Kettle Society to open the first Recovery Café in Canada. A property was purchased by a donor, five-year operations seed funding support was committed by Streetohome, and prospective members were excited at the news. When the opening was delayed due to extensive renovations needed, three donors stepped up to fund a pop-up location ensuring prospective members wouldn’t need to wait to start building a better future for themselves.
The Giustra Foundation, Vancouver Police Foundation, and Tanjit Kalhar came together to ensure the Recovery Café could open its doors and start inviting people into a warm and welcoming space to experience its radical hospitality and loving accountability as soon as possible.
“When I first learned of the Recovery Café from Streetohome, the idea of being welcomed into a safe space with opportunities to share meals and life journeys, help find support services, and feel a real sense of hope – it resonated with me,” says Tanjit. “I was more than happy to donate space to The Kettle Society so that they could host such a place of community and connection.”
With a space secured, The Giustra Foundation contributed operations seed funding and Vancouver Police Foundation contributed funding to equip the location with furnishings to create a cozy atmosphere. With soft rugs underfoot, comfortable couches, secure lockers for members’ possessions, and a commercial espresso machine, members and guests can explore the opportunity and share experiences while having a specialty coffee together.
“Many people in our community are living with complex needs. The Recovery Café provides opportunities for connection that promote a sense of belonging and renewed hope so that individuals regain authorship of their own story,” says Andrea Wright, Executive Director, Vancouver Police Foundation. “Some of their trauma and challenges will heal and fall away when they have meaningful opportunities to pursue and a strong community of support.”
The Recovery Café is a free membership model that asks three things of members – refrain from drugs and alcohol before attending; participate in a weekly recovery circle with 8-10 peers and a trained facilitator; and contribute to the running of the community (e.g., food prep, cleaning, leading groups, etc.). Members can attend School of Recovery workshops as well as recreation and social events. Above all, members deeply connect with one another, gain a sense of belonging and personal agency, and develop mutual concern for each other. This connection helps provide them with the support they need to be accountable to themselves and others as they pursue the next steps in their life journey.
“I’m pleased to support the Recovery Café Vancouver, which is the first in Canada. This evidence-based, participatory and low-cost model has been proven in other jurisdictions. The Recovery Café offers a place to be known, loved and experience the deep bonds of support and connection so that the people in our community can heal, recover and participate fully in their lives,” says Frank Giustra, CEO Fiore Group, and Founder of The Giustra Foundation.