Recovery Cafe 


Recovery Café is an alternative therapeutic support community founded on the knowledge that that every human being – regardless of past trauma, mental and emotional anguish and/or addictive behaviors – is precious, worthy of love, and deserving of opportunities to reach his or her potential.  Since 2003, the Café’s drug-and-alcohol-free space and loving community has anchored our Members in the sustained recovery needed to gain and maintain access to housing, social and health services, healthy relationships, education and employment.
Mission Statement
Recovery Café is a community in which women and men traumatized by homelessness, addiction, poverty and/or other mental health challenges come to know ourselves as loved and with gifts to share. We provide the ongoing recovery support needed for those seeking to transform their lives.
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Recovery Cafe
2022 Boren Ave 
(206) 374-8731 

David Coffey 
Executive Director 


Recovery Cafe Programs

Recovery Café’s programming is designed to be consistent with evidence-based best practices and contains all the elements of a holistic intervention program. Our program helps people maintain recovery, reduce relapse and fulfill their potential.   Important elements of this work include:

An ethos of radical hospitality is a catalyst for much of the informal but integral aspects of our program. Our healing milieu includes free, nutritious meals, coffee, tea and lattes, access to a computer lab, support in navigating the complex social services system, daily encouragement and a robust delivery of the message YOU MATTER.

Recovery Circles: Facilitated loving, peer-support groups hold Members accountable to be their best selves. Through weekly Recovery Circles, Members build community and develop skills for sustained recovery. Members are required to contact the Café if they are unable to attend a Recovery Circle.

Member Empowerment, Enrichment and Utilization:  We are committed to growing and nurturing our Members to rebuild their lives as well as helping others do so.  This peer-to-peer aspect of recovery support is one of the most powerful pieces of our success. Members are also encouraged to give back in one form or another. Volunteer acts of service range from helping keeping our classrooms clean or washing dishes to taking out recycling.

The School of Recovery: Programs and classes that address the underlying causes of addiction, teach coping skills, provide knowledge development, facilitate learning new skills, and build recovery capital.

Additionally, the Café provides dedicated space for 12-Step Meetings each week, including Alcoholics Anonymous (Spanish and English), Narcotics Anonymous, Business Debtors Anonymous, Alanon, Overeaters Anonymous and Dual Recovery Anonymous.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Our cohort of services synchs naturally with the new approach that Washington State Department of Behavioral Health has embraced as a more effective way to address chemical dependency issues: a Recovery Orientated System of Care (ROSC).  A ROSC meets people where they are on the recovery continuum, engages them for a lifetime of managing their disease, focuses holistically on a person's needs, and empowers them to build a life that realizes their full potential. This person-centered system of care supports a person as she or he establishes a healthy life and recognizes the universal need for a meaningful sense of membership and belonging in community.

Recovery Café has been recognized by Washington State and King County experts as an excellent example of how a ROSC works.  Through our work, we prevent individuals from another potentially life-ending crisis, saving taxpayer money in emergency intervention to stabilize them, and allowing mental health and addiction support professionals to focus on health maintenance and addiction prevention.

Our approach works. 90% of Recovery Café members report that our supportive community has helped them maintain sobriety. Through our supportive community and programs, our Members are able to lay a foundation of recovery on which they can build for the rest of their lives.

Donations to Recovery Café assist our efforts to continually expand and enhance our recovery support services and programmatic offerings that give people the tools, stability and mutually supportive environment they need to escape the trauma of addiction and mental illness; spend the rest of their lives drug-and-alcohol-free; and feel empowered to help others in the recovery process embrace recovery as well.


The Recovery Café serves homeless and formerly homeless men and women who are struggling with addiction, mental illness, isolation and poverty.

Proven Success
The Café provides meals and drug and alcohol recovery programs in an atmosphere of a neighborhood café, making their programming welcoming and accessible. As their membership has grown they made the decision to open their dinner meal to members only. They were seeing increased numbers of people coming at the end of the month that were not interested in recovery and participating in Café programming and community. Originally they thought the dinner meal would be a recruiting tool for new Members. But they have found that their membership has grown through other outreach efforts.

Recovery Café has strong board and staff leadership who bring with them significant expertise in working with homeless and formerly homeless populations who struggle with mental illness and addiction. They have a very large and vibrant volunteer program that supports the work of the Café’ and its programs.

Use of Best Practices
The Café’s programs are consistent with evidence-based based practices and contain the elements of a holistic intervention program that is designed to address the complex needs of homeless individuals suffering with addition, mental illness, isolation and poverty.
They are committed to expanding their capacity by empowering their members to help address the needs of our community. They see the peer to peer model being effective; the person with 2 years in recovery helping the person with 2 months in recovery, helping the person with 2 weeks in recovery. This past year they have significantly increased the number of Recovery Circles facilitated by members and they anticipate increasing the number of members in this role as well as the training for these individuals.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
The Cafe’ offers a welcoming environment giving individuals many chances to sustain recovery and develop skills and knowledge to achieve their full potential, re-build their lives and break the cycle of addition, homelessness, poverty and unemployment. A person must have 24 hours drug and alcohol free to enter the Café but anyone can attend a 12-step meeting. Their model stresses member involvement through volunteering and community building and members are supported and encouraged by other members.

Financial Health
The last 12 months have been a challenge for the Café. The results from their annual fundraiser were lower than they anticipated. Another difficulty for the Café was that a significant in-kind food donor of the Café merged with another organization and has since moved to Kent. They now have to allocate more staff time, vehicle rental costs and administrative time to pick up food donations.

They continue to seek new revenue sources for the Café. One opportunity that they are optimistic about is a pilot program with King County that utilizes federal Access to Recovery (ATR) funds. Also in 2014 peer-to-peer recovery support services will be eligible for reimbursement from the Washington State Federal addiction block grant. The Café’s model is based on peer-to-peer service delivery. They are continuing to build their relationship with King County and sharing quantitative and qualitative data about the Café’s programming.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

12/10/2011 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
12/10/2010 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/10/2009 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.


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