(c) Chad Windham

Café Momentum Takes Culinary Program for Juvenile Offenders National

Café Momentum, the acclaimed culinary training program started by Dallas Chef Chad Houser to teach juvenile offenders a trade, is going national. Stand Together Foundation invested $1.9 million to help launch Momentum Advisory Co. (M.A.C.), taking Café Momentum’s nonprofit restaurant model nationwide. M.A.C. programs will “expand opportunity and enable system-involved youth to reach their full potential with the holistic support of the communities they serve,” according to press information.

“We have seen the powerful difference it makes when communities come together to support the holistic needs of our country’s most marginalized youth,” said Chad Houser, founder, CEO, and Executive Chef of Café Momentum. “Our partnership with Stand Together Foundation continues to empower us to expand our mission to transform millions of lives and reshape how our country thinks about juvenile justice. We have a model to provide youth exiting juvenile detention facilities the support they need to truly thrive. And now we are excited to put in the work to tailor local solutions to other communities around the country.”

Cafe Momentum Provides Culinary Training

Café Momentum Takes Culinary Program for Juvenile Offenders National

Photo: Chad Houser photo (c) Chad Windham

Momentum Advisory Co. got its start with Café Momentum, a nonprofit restaurant and culinary training facility based in Dallas. The program provides employment, life skills training, and wraparound care to youth exiting juvenile detention facilities. They plan to expand the successful model across the country.

“My internship experience over at Café Momentum was phenomenal! That experience for me, helped me discover some of my strengths and weaknesses. in other words, it helped me better myself and learn more about myself,” said Mar’Twan Darden, a recent intern.

The program is a member of Stand Together Foundation’s Catalyst Network. The select group of 180+ top-performing nonprofits across the country helps to break the cycle of poverty in America.

Stand Together Foundation

Café Momentum Takes Culinary Program for Juvenile Offenders National

Photo: Chad Windham

Evan Feinberg, Executive Director of Stand Together Foundation, said, “Café Momentum is an organization with inspiring leadership and a transformative vision rooted in a deep belief in people. With a recidivism rate nearly three times lower than the Texas average, Café Momentum is demonstrating there is a better way to support our nation’s system-involved youth. They create a community of support providing interns the time and resources to identify their passions and talents and learn ways to apply them. We are committed to helping Café Momentum and M.A.C. reach as many people as possible, transforming lives and changing the way the country approaches juvenile justice.”

Since joining the Catalyst Community in 2017, the program has served more than 1,000 youth in the Dallas area and through pop-up restaurant events in Los Angeles, Nashville, and Miami. These pop-up events brought the Players Coalition to the table.

Momentum Advisory Co. (M.A.C.)

Café Momentum Takes Culinary Program for Juvenile Offenders National

Photo: Chad Windham

Momentum Advisory Co. has expanded the relationship during the pandemic through a virtual dinner series between the youth of the program, Players Coalition, and leaders in juvenile justice from around the country. These events educate the youth on their civil rights while giving the players access to real-life stories to inspire their work in social and juvenile justice.

For more information about Stand Together Foundation, please visit StandTogetherFoundation.org. For information about Momentum Advisory Collective (M.A.C.), visit momentumadvisory.co. For information about Café Momentum, visit cafemomentum.org.

Written by Jo Ann Holt