Recovery Café San Jose: A Vision for San Jose


coffee cup

At First Christian Church we have spent many years feeding, housing, and ministering to people who live on the streets in downtown San Jose. Unfortunately we have seen many who stay living on the streets unable to navigate their way out from under the forces of substance abuse and mental illness.

Our faith teaches us that as human beings we do not live by bread alone. We are no longer able to be satisfied simply providing physical bread for people who come to our meal program. We want our meals to be connected with a different kind of bread that will nourish and heal the wounds that cause the pain that leads them to drink.
In our search to address this need we connected with old friends of ours who had started a place in Seattle called the Recovery Café. The Recovery Café is a place where homeless women and men who are ready to take one tiny step toward recovery can spend their days off the street. It is a place where they can share meals, attend Recovery Circles, take classes, create art, meet new friends and become a volunteer barista at the espresso bar.

We are learning from our friends in Seattle, but we are also creating our own model for a Recovery Center for the homeless in San Jose. The San Jose center would include:

  • Renovation of FCC social hall into a café setting with full commercial kitchen, espresso bar, café tables, library and game area and adjacent art room and a classroom with windows overlooking the café
  • Creation of a Day Center open 5 days a week for core members and regular participants who volunteer and provide program support.
  • Programs that support recovery including weekly recovery circles, classes that teach relapse prevention, anger management, healthy cooking and eating, spiritual growth, meditation, communication and healthy relationships, grief and loss, art therapy and more.
  • A community of belonging created by a core membership process and the building of authentic community through engagement with people in the community who come to the café to share life and lead programs.

If you would like to be part of creating this much needed center in San Jose, please contact the church at 408-294-2944. We are in need of financial donors, volunteers interested in working on fund raising, program development, volunteer training and recruitment.

Please visit our website at