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Cafe Reconcile

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Youth Centers & Clubs

Mission: Reconcile New Orleans transforms the lives of young adults (ages 16-22) and the community through the ministry of reconciliation. We do this by encouraging personal growth,providing workforce development and training,promoting entrepreneurship,working with businesses, nonprofits and people of faith to support this transformation, and building strong communities through community economic development.

Results: To date, Reconcile New Orleans’ Workforce Development Program has successfully graduated more than 1,000 youth between the ages of 16 and 22. These students leave the 12-week program with basic life skills, interpersonal skills and work skills, enabling and empowering them towards success. Currently housed in a five-story, 17,000 square foot building reclaimed in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans, Reconcile New Orleans strives to provide youth from at-risk communities with an opportunity to learn the life, job, and educational skills necessary for successful entry into the work force or to further their education. A cornerstone for the economic recovery of the Central City neighborhood, Cafe Reconcile serves to address unmet neighborhood needs, such as GED education, computer literacy, parenting skills, and organizational support for aspiring local entrepreneurs. We are a gathering place where people of goodwill can work together to solve difficult social problems.

Target demographics: transform the lives of opportunity youth ages 16-22

Direct beneficiaries per year: 160 young people. Since the program's inception, over 1000 young people have been positively impacted by the Cafe Reconcile model.

Geographic areas served: New Orleans

Programs: our 12 week, Life Skills and Workforce Development program. Our program provides students access to soft skills training, applied hospitality and job training, internships and access to mental health counseling, education (G.E.D., advanced career training, scholarships), and other services.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

You've got to go -- see, experience and taste for yourself. Beautiful café, exceptionally thoughtful service, delicious food and (most importantly) an amazing mission. As a guest of the café, I am delighted to watch the training of the young people who are committed to doing the work to change the course of their lives - whether it be within the hospitality industry, as future university students, or as entrepreneurs.

From the moment these young people proudly bring you to your table, one can tell that the depth and scope of the life and employment training that goes on behind the café scene is successful! The support offered by the training staff seems extremely respectful as they guide the youth. Even as a customer, one can tell the pride that the students have in their efforts. Well done!

Oh! And don't forget to save room for bread pudding!


General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

First - the food is OK but not outstanding, and certainly not worth the ever rising cost. Recently visited as a guest, and lunch for 2 came to almost $40. Second - not sure about "life skills", but teaching young black New Orleanians to be restaurant waiters and servers -- give me a break! This is a joke. Heard these kids are considerably under-paid and NOT allowed to keep their tips. What a shame, especially with ALL the money that appears to be pouring in each day this place is open for BUSINESS. Just walk in and take a look around. Want to know how to get rich running a non-profit? My guess is these guys have the answer.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The signature Life Skills & Workforce Development Program consists of 15 months of training, including:
• Life Skills Class (3 weeks),
• Hands-on Workforce Training in our neighborhood café (6 weeks),
• An internship with one of our 40 employer partners (3 weeks), and
• Ongoing case management, substance abuse counseling, mental health counseling, housing assistance, and personal finance training.
• Students receive two meals a day, uniforms, bus tokens and a modest stipend, as well as
• 12 months of follow-up support following graduation and job placement to support job retention.

Graduate and Employer Programs
The recently-formed alumni association helps our 1,000+ program graduates advance in their careers through peer mentoring, advanced training in management and leadership, and training partnerships. These include:
• A graduate trainer program in our Café,
• Employment and training opportunities in our catering and events department,
• ServSafe Managers Training, industry-recognized credential for advancement in the hospitality industry,
• GED preparation through partnerships with the Youth Empowerment Project and employers,
• Higher education through partnerships with local colleges and universities, and
• Growing partnerships with The Net Charter School, Centerplate, Dickie Brennan & Co. and the National Restaurant Association to provide training and employment supports for at-risk youth in other settings.

Our Students
• 16 to 22 years old
• 97% disconnected from school & employment
• 99% African-American
• 67% boys or young men

Our Impact
• 80% involved in the justice system
• 78% substance abuse or mental health issues • 52% homeless at some point in their lives
• 48% parents with at least one child
• 400+ youth served to date in 2014
• 1,000+ graduates since inception
• 102 program graduates in 2013, up from 60 in 2011
• 90% of program graduates who are placed in employment stay employed for at least 12 months.
• $130M+ in capital investment catalyzed to date along the O. C. Haley Corridor as an anchor

• Reconcile does not currently receive any public funding.
• 50% of our revenue is earned through restaurant and catering, which offsets program costs.
• $6,000 per student is the cost of our program in public/philanthropic support. The average annual cost
to incarcerate this same young person is $88,000.1
• $258,242 is the average lifetime economic cost in social services and lost tax revenues for each young
person who is not connected with employment or education beginning at the age of 16.2
• Investment in Reconcile can save more than $250,000 in future taxpayer dollars per youth.