Recovery Cafe 


Utilizing a peer-to-peer based recovery support healing model, Recovery Cafe provides the essential anchor of loving community for homeless and formerly homeless women and men who struggle with alcohol and substance abuse and other mental health challenges. This foundation of support is fundamental for our Members to secure and maintain housing, basic services, education and employment as they rebuild their lives. Our low-barrier approach to recovery gives the people we serve as many chances as they need to sustain recovery and develop life skills to achieve their full potential. This work is essential to ending homelessness.

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 themselves as loved with gifts to share. Recovery Cafe provides the ongoing recovery support needed to become stable in housing, relationships, health and employment.
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Recovery Cafe
2022 Boren Ave 
(206) 374-8731 

David Coffey 
Executive Director 


Recovery Cafe Programs

Recovery Cafe holds over 40 Recovery Circles weekly for Members, over half facilitated by Members. Recovery Circles are loving, accountability support groups that promote healing, community, and responsibility. 

Recovery Cafe serves a nourishing and nutritious lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. When we are open, resource referral assistance is provided by Members, staff and volunteers so Members can make the best use of available services in the Seattle community.

The School for Recovery offers a psycho-educational curriculum to deepen participants understanding of the addictive process, skill building for relapse prevention, development of life skills, and encourages healthy living through movement, art, texts, discussion, self reflection and assessment, writing, meditation, nutrition and healthy relationships. 

Recovery Cafe hosts 17 12-step meetings including Alcoholics Anonymous (in English & Spanish), Narcotics Anonymous, Dual Recovery Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, and Alanon in a dedicated space.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

In the last year, Recovery Cafe, in partnership with King County and the State of Washington, launched Recovery Coach Training based on the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery model. Holding three week-long trainings, the Café has equipped over 60 individuals to be peer mentors to others on the recovery journey with current best practices. 

In the following year, Recovery Café’s major challenge revolves around capacity. Demand exceeds Recovery Café’s capacity to provide services, especially in light of the Affordable Care Act. Moving forward, Recovery Café continues to refine how many Members (consumers) it can hold, how it holds Members and how to lift Members up into new leadership opportunities.


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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