Adult & Teen Challenge of Memphis Cozy Café Helps Addicts Recover

MEMPHIS, Tenn. РIn Midtown Memphis, a nonprofit is helping men get their lives back on track, one cup of coffee at a time. Adult and Teen Challenge of Memphis recently opened a patio space for the Cozy Caf̩, a small Midtown caf̩.

“We just opened this cafe in partnership with the Memphis Medical District,” said director of development Ben Jared. “Trying to bring a different energy to Midtown.”

The men who participate in their year-long alcohol and drug recovery program work as baristas, roast, brew and sell coffee. Each cup sold helps fund the association’s decades-old recovery program. The program includes housing, education, Christian workshops and vocational training.

“Drug addiction is a huge problem across the country. But everyone who’s been to Memphis has seen it affect the community, ”Jared said.

It’s Joshua’s third day at work. Joshua is currently enrolled in the nonprofit Drugs and Alcohol Program. Much like the Colombian blend that he roasts and brews almost daily, this work is his new beginning. Joshua’s drink of choice months ago was alcohol.

“It started out as an occasional drink on the weekends. It became a daily thing, and then it turned into some sort of thing several times a day, ”Joshua said. “I was on the verge of becoming homeless, I had no one else to turn to because all the bridges I had had been practically burnt to the ground. I was at the point where suicide had crossed my mind, so for me it was the bottom. “

When he finally asked for help, Memphis Adults and Teens Challenge intervened. Joshua has been sober for over four months.

“I would say we have an average of 30 guys in the program at a time,” Jared said.
The Cozy Café is just one of many outreach programs that current participants or graduates can serve.

“We trust the students to make our businesses easier on a day-to-day basis, they get work experience because of it because a lot of guys come here that haven’t worked before,” Jared said.

Every cup of coffee you buy here, hot or cold, helps someone get well. The Cozy Café is located at 1340 Madison Avenue, open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Joshua is currently enrolled in the Drug and Alcohol program with Memphis’ Adult & Teen Challenge. For security reasons while enrolled in the program, he did not share his last name with Local 24 News.

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