TAMPA, Fla. - When the pandemic caused everything to shut down earlier this year, that impact had a ripple effect on many businesses. One of those, the Portico Cafe, is only now just getting back to the business of helping restore the lives of the homeless.
"We want to changes lives," explained Mindi Vaughan, the operations manager at the cafe at the North Florida Avenue shop.
She knows a little about the mission of the cafe as it helped change her life.
"This cafe gave me a sense of purpose," she said. "It renewed my self-confidence."
Vaughan hadn't had a job in five years. She had been struggling with opioid addiction. The Portico Cafe took her on as a barista while she went through treatment at DACCO, but the curveball that COVID presented really created a challenge for the cafe.
They had to shut down like everyone else, but staying afloat was imperative to maintaining the lifeline to rehabilitation for their employees.
"We are known for our coffee," said Vaughan. And that was the temporary solution. They began selling the coffee by the bag until they were able to re-open to the public.
"I know it seems really simple, just giving someone a job," Vaughan continued. "But to someone who was at the point of brokenness that I was; that job gave me a whole new life."
"We can't do that without community support."
To find out more about the Portico Cafe and their hours, please visit their website: https://theportico.org/cafe/
You can also support the Portico's mission through "Coffee Fuels Change" and get their coffee delivered right to your door: https://www.porticocafe.org/#ouLBDf