Frequently Asked Questions: Germaine's Cafe

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UPDATE as of May 13, 2021: We have relaunched Germaine’s Café as Germaine’s Kitchen and Café. Learn more about our new culinary arts program and café here. 

What is Germaine’s Café?

Germaine’s Café is a human rights crusade disguised as a coffee shop, a place where diversity can be celebrated. After participating in Catalyst Kitchen’s Farestart Accelerator training, Catholic Charities committed to hiring and training a staff of individuals living with intellectual & developmental disabilities (IDDs).

Why is Catholic Charities now working with the IDD community?

In Oregon, 61% of people living with disabilities are unemployed. Nationally, individuals with disabilities face poverty rates nearly three times higher than their non-disabled peers, making them more likely to struggle with things like food insecurity, insufficient access to healthcare, and inability to cover basic living expenses. Catholic Charities is committed to combating this by developing meaningful, sustainable employment opportunities for people with disabilities in our community.

How will all this work?

We aim to develop an integrated, consumer-led social business enterprise using Catholic Charities’ existing commercial kitchen space to offer professional training and eventual employment to individuals with IDDs. Germaine’s Café will eventually launch into its own independent enterprise as a separate 501(c)(3) organization while remaining a member/affiliate of Catholic Charities.

How long will the staff affected by IDDs actually work at the cafe?

Once the project launches, it will expand to provide training followed by employment placement in other organizations and businesses where strong partnerships have been established. The cafe will operate as a social enterprise, reinvesting financial returns into the IDD community to further our social mission to create dignified employment opportunities or other economic and social benefits for marginalized communities.

When will the cafe be open for business?

TBD, although renovations to the existing kitchen space are scheduled to begin in January 2020.

What will be offered at this cafe?

The cafe will offer coffee and other beverages and a limited food menu. In the long term, the menu will expand to include breakfast and lunch service. The customer base will be Catholic Charities employees and clients as well as students and faculty from the neighboring high school with the potential to cater to the nearby Fred Meyer corporate employee base.

Is my gift to Germaine’s Cafe tax deductible?

Yes! Catholic Charities of Oregon is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and your donation is tax-deductible within the guidelines of U.S. law. To claim a donation as a deduction on your U.S. taxes, please keep your email donation receipt as your official record. We’ll send it to you upon successful completion of your donation. Please consider making a gift to Germaine’s Cafe today.

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