OGDEN, Kan (KSNT) – In downtown Ogden, you won’t find a major coffee chain, but rather a locally owned not-for-profit coffee shop.
The House Cafe has a mission to serve its community.
“A lot of times if kids aren’t shown how to be employable or have a work ethic, how can you expect them to have those things,” Christopher Jacobs said.
Jacobs and his wife set out on a mission to give youth in the Ogden community the chance to not only learn the skills they would need when they leave Ogden but to also provide a space for youth in the community to gather and stay out of trouble.
The business employs students on a volunteer basis. They then can move up through a paid internship program that teaches basic soft skills like communicating with others.
“Through the business, they volunteer here. There is a promotion system so they start at front of the house. The expectations are pretty simple, they just need to show up on time. It’s like cleaning windows, basic jobs and then they can work their way up to a paid internship and at that level, we build a resume with them. We do monthly budgeting, we have them do mock interviews,” Jacobs said.
Through profits raised by The House Cafe, the organization was able to construct a ‘Teen Center” adjacent to the cafe. The center provides a place for youth in the community to play games and receive tutoring as well.
“We do tutoring we do game nights, we host different family events and it’s kind of the idea to give them something to do other than to be bored in a small town,” Jacobs said.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 20.3% of residents in Ogden live at or below the poverty line. The Kansas state average is 12%.
The experience of working with local youth and being a part of the café has been eye-opening for Jessica Anschutz, who also helps manage the café with Jacobs.
“My eyes have been opened and it like breaks my heart but also that anger and that heartbreak leads me to keep going and I just I don’t know like I can’t stop,” Anschutz said.
The House Cafe is setting out on a mission to leave a big impact in a small Kansas town.
The House Cafe is located at 230 Riley Ave. in Ogden. You can visit their website to find their hours and ways to support the cafe by clicking here.