July Featured Mission Partner: Curt’s Cafe

Curt’s Café is a new Mission Partner at First Pres. Curt’s Café works with proven at-risk or formerly incarcerated young adults. What these young adults need most is a job. Without a job, many end up living on the streets and return to destructive habits, cycling through the courts, 86% of those released are sent back through the system within three years.

Curt’s solution is teaching on-the-job culinary techniques, but also providing instruction they will need to fill in educational gaps, gain confidence, and become job-ready. Some teaching is done on café lines, some is done in a classroom setting, and some by individual mentors or outside the cafes. After their training, Curt’s Cafe assists their 15 to 24 year old student-trainees with job placement, and helps them transition into full-time employment. They have a minimum of 30 new students per cafe through the program each year. Curt’s Café started in Evanston, opening its first restaurant in 2012.

First Pres’s Mission Committee met with Executive Director Susan Trieschmann, and David Griffin last fall. This year we awarded Curt’s with a grant for $7,100, and we are excited to partner with them. Later this Summer, Curt’s Café will open a Highland Park location at 1766 2nd Street. Curt’s Café has a fundraising event at the Highland Park Arts Center on Thursday, July 11 featuring Acts of Kindness Cabaret and a Taste of Curt’s Café. To sign up or if you want more information, please visit www.curtscafe.org.