It’s a typical Wednesday for Janine Nelson at TurnAround Coffee House in downtown Sacramento. But before she was crafting café mochas, life was anything but typical, as she spent most of her adult years on the streets.
"(I) slept where I could, in alleyways, under bridges, find a little nook and cranny, so I'm hidden from people,” Nelson said.
Now the 54-year-old said she’s found purpose, thanks to the café. The TurnAround Coffee House is run by Clean and Sober, a non-profit affiliate of Loaves and Fishes. It’s designed to give homeless and recovering addicts on-the-job training.
"They think that they're worthless, when they are not. They are beautiful human beings that just need a chance,” said café manager Crystal Urech.
Urech is also a recovering addict.
"No matter where they come from, no matter where they've been, no matter what they do, if you put them into a positive environment, their life is going to change positively,” Urech said.
The positions aren’t paid and all the proceeds go back to the program. Since the coffee house opened in 2014, 85 percent of the volunteers have gone on to find regular jobs.
As for Nelson, she said the opportunity has made her optimistic about the future.
"I still got life in me. I still can make a difference to somebody else’s' life,” said Nelson.
The TurnAround Coffee House is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The address is 724 7th Street, Sacramento. Volunteers are in need and anyone can sign-up.