Coffee shop helping addicts get back on their feet

A new coffee shop in Charlotte is serving up more than just a cup of coffee. 

Community Matters Café is a program attached to the Charlotte Rescue Mission, helping addicts get back on their feet. 

“Our number one goal here is to restore hope,” said Paula Elkins the café manager . 

It’s a big boost to my ego and to my pride to work on  myself and not to feel so useless in a sense,” said Clifton Hines who is going through the program. 

Hines abused drugs for 20 years. Today he’s learning the tricks of the trade in pastry making and being a better employee. 

“Going through this program and being able to work on me and to sustain myself to earn a paycheck and be able to bank my money and pay bills , it’s a big thing, it a very big thing,” said Hines. 

“Its starting with raw ingredients and making something beautiful and that’s similar to how they walk into here and how they leave us,” said Ashely Anna Tuttle the executive pastry chef at the café. 

They work bakers’ hours, starting first thing in the morning, staying through breakfast and into lunch. 

“The primary thing that we teach here is community. We lean on each other, we support each other and we react to things that are happening together,” said Ed Price the Director of Life Skills Operations at the café. 

All the students went through Charlotte Rescue Mission’s 120 day recovery program. The work at the café is another 120 days. 

“Our goal is to make better hourly employees which creates better renters, better homeowners better citizens overall,” said Price. 

Students learn skills like dealing with stress, staying calm, handling feedback and interacting with the general public. 

In addition to making their own bread. 

“Just to see them grow and in these doors and their personalities have really come out and shined in different ways to the point that we were surprised,” said Nick Kepp the executive chef at the café.