The Opportunity of a Lifetime

BECAUSE OF YOUR CONTINUED GENEROSITY,
four young people are receiving the opportunity of a lifetime.

Because of your support and desire to help young people achieve their potential, the Reconcile COVID Class of 2020 has the resources needed to live, learn, and grow.

“The people I’ve worked with before have never been as patient as Ms. Simone,” Jasmin added.

This week our 2020 Class 2 Interns were in action on the Café floor for the first time since March! Interns have adjusted to our new hybrid training model and are working from home on Tuesday and Thursday. Each Monday and Wednesday, they will spend their mornings learning culinary and service skills face to face, while maintaining a safe social distance with guests and the Café team.

New Interns like Jasmin and Chris are setting a precedent for the young people that will follow in their footsteps — never giving up and taking advantage of the opportunities in front of them.

You gave them this opportunity.

Young people need our help today. Dreams don’t just disappear because there is a pandemic. With your help, Reconcile Interns can show up to say,  “I’m willing to learn and ready to work.”

Will you be there for them?  

If so, click the Donate button below.

You Helped Fred, But Fred is One of Many

BECAUSE OF YOU, Reconcile graduate Fred Smooth is surviving the COVID-19 pandemic.

In February, FRED SMOOTH earned the “Legacy of Service” Award from The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. Fred was acknowledged for his hard work and commitment just two months after he was hired as a runner/busser, and he quickly worked his way up to full-time server.

When we introduced you to Fred in March, he was unemployed and trying to support his family. The father of a 2-year-old girl, Fred received gift cards Reconcile distributed at the start of the pandemic. These helped with immediate needs such as food, diapers, and other necessities for his baby girl. Today, Fred is still unemployed, but a new job opportunity just became available to him. Besides pursuing interests in electronic arts, gaming, and online sales, Fred landed an interview for a position in mortgage lending as a business development associate. The most humbling part of Fred’s story can be seen in the video below…

Fred is successfully managing the harsh reality of today, both financially and emotionally. He applied Reconcile’s budgeting workshops and money-saving techniques to everyday life, he put to good use the lessons he learned as a student of Reconcile, and he started disciplining himself long before the pandemic. We can’t wait to update you on Fred’s pending job interview, but even if it doesn’t come through, Fred will manage. He is a confident young man with a glass-half-full attitude.

But many of our alumni are still struggling to make ends meet after not having worked for over four months. In a tight job market, they worry about their children going to bed on an empty stomach. With unemployment benefits being suspended, we turn to you for help.

Gifts from donors like you help bridge the gap. Your gift funds budgeting workshops and client assistance grants, that helped Fred further along his path, so that other Alumni can manage this reality, too.  We need your help to support them in the battle of survival.

With your help, our young people can get back to pursuing dreams.

Prepared for the Pandemic

$20 COOLINARY MEAL!

Café Reconcile is thrilled to participate in this year’s Coolinary Event. We are offering a three-course lunch for $20 throughout the month of August!

– Cup of Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with rice
– Catfish Plate (served fried, grilled, or blackened) with a choice of two sides (collard greens, mac & cheese, sweet potato crumble, jalapeño cornbread muffins, or potato salad)
– Bananas Foster Bread Pudding


PREPARED FOR THE PANDEMIC

FRED SMOOTH is a Reconcile Alumnus who received the “Legacy of Service” Award in February from The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. Fred was acknowledged for his hard work and commitment to The Roosevelt just two months after he was hired as a runner/busser. In March, when we introduced you to Fred, we told you that he was unemployed, trying to support himself and his family. The father of a 1-year-old girl, Fred received gift cards Reconcile distributed at the start of the pandemic. He used the funds for immediate needs such as food, diapers, and other necessities for his baby girl.

Today, Fred is still unemployed, but a new job opportunity just became available to him. We can’t wait to tell you how it goes, but in the meantime, Fred has this to say to you, his Reconcile family: “No matter what happens, I will stay positive. Reconcile taught me how to budget, so I have enough money saved to provide for my family, even with unemployment ending.”


THANK YOU, ELLA WEST FREEMAN FOUNDATION!

With the weekly federal unemployment benefits ending July 31, Reconcile New Orleans Alumni who were once employed in the hospitality industry and receiving unemployment benefits are facing a harsh, new reality. Thanks to the Ella West Freeman Foundation grant awarded to Reconcile, client assistance will be available to Alumni in August. Client assistance grants help Alumni with immediate needs as they continue to work toward employment. Thank you again, Ella West Freeman Foundation!


It’s Possible to Chase Dreams Right Now

When you help a person feel empowered and take ownership of their work,
he or she is able to grow.

Now more than ever, a young person needs a breath of fresh air in order to show up to work and thrive.

On the other hand, if you don’t provide them a space, and a place, to discuss housing, transportation, and their ability to put food on the table, it becomes impossible for them to chase dreams.

For the first time since mid-March, Reconcile Interns are back in the building. This puts us as “close to normal” as the pandemic limitations and safety procedures allow. This gives Reconcile and its young people a breath of fresh air.

Our team is hard at work creating innovative opportunities that demonstrate our excitement to welcome Interns but also be mindful of their safety and the adjustments that need to be made for them to succeed.

Interns will be in the café from 9-12 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays for training. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, meetings and training sessions will be virtual. This pivot is necessary to allow our young people to adapt to advanced technology and the ever changing world of from-home communications. In a nutshell, while some folks are starting a new chapter, Reconcile is starting fresh and writing a new sequel.

“Reconcile is redefining what ‘success’ looks like with this new cohort. Nevertheless, we are excited to start a new chapter … one that will display our resilience and everyday commitment to those we serve,” said Kathy Litchfield, Reconcile program director.

We need your help to provide the physical resources — laptops, uniforms, and transportation, just to name a few — as well as the emotional supports that guide Interns on their pathway to purpose.

“No matter what happens, we will have Interns in our building,” said executive director Gerald Duhon. “We are planting our flag throughout this pandemic. We are committed to our mission of serving, training, and believing in our young people.”

Is it possible to chase dreams right now?
With your help, definitely.

Together, WE ARE RECONCILE.

New Faces at Reconcile

The more people like Courtney and Daniel, the more we can fulfill our mission here at Reconcile, where you enter as a customer and you leave as a member of our family. However you safely choose to enjoy your meals, it can help our Interns receive the resources that put them on track to pursuing their professional and personal ambitions. Visit our menu, or share it with a friend, HERE.
INTERNS BACK IN THE BUILDING!
For the first time since mid-March, Reconcile Interns are back in the building! This puts us as “close to normal” as the pandemic limitations and safety procedures allow. Our team is hard at work creating innovative opportunities for our young people that demonstrate our excitement to welcome Interns but also be mindful of their safety and the adjustments that need to be made for them to succeed: “This will be an abbreviated program model that will see Programming run a six-week training program as opposed to the typical 8-week model. Starting week 2, Interns will be in the café from 9-12 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays for training. Interns will then transition to the third floor for their second temp check and workshops. Reconcile and its Programming are working on redefining what ‘success’ looks like at the end of this cohort. Nevertheless, we are excited to start a new chapter … one that will display our resilience and our everyday commitment to those we serve.” – Kathy Litchfield, Program Director
RENDELL’S 2ND YEAR AT TOURO CONTINUES

Congratulations to Rendell, who is almost halfway through his second year working at Touro Infirmary. Founded in 1852, Touro Infirmary is New Orleans’ only community-based, not-for-profit, faith-based hospital. Rendell works as a dietary supervisor, serving meals to Touro’s patients and bringing a smile (even one that you can see behind the mask) into every patient room he enters. He inspects the kitchen daily to maintain required levels of cleanliness, checks all refrigeration units weekly for storage of food items, and oversees the production of all food served from the kitchen to patients, guests and hospital personnel. Congrats again, Rendell. Keep up the great work! Together, WE ARE RECONCILE.

Chef Mike Shelton: Investing in Young People

When you’re aiming to change your life, you need a plan.
Even more crucial, you need a model.

The main principle behind modeling is that if you overtake the behaviors, strategies, determination, and other traits of successful people, you also become more successful. That’s why Reconcile believes it is essential in our young people’s development to offer role models and champions to guide them through their journey. 

One of those champions is Chef Michael Shelton, who serves as executive chef at Second Harvest Food Bank. It is important to see how community members like Chef Mike engage with and inspire our young people, providing them counseling and mentoring to help pave a path forward.

In the video below, Chef Mike explains what makes Reconcile’s young people unique, how they take advantage of opportunities, and why those opportunities are not possible without your support. 

Reconcile’s 2020 Safety Procedures

Thank you for dining with us! As we begin to reopen our restaurant, we are eager to welcome back our guests and staff members with the safety and well-being of all at the forefront of all our efforts.

As we navigate through this unprecedented time as responsibly as we can, we are following all recommended cleaning and safety guidelines from health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and national and local government agencies, to ensure you have a safe and comfortable dining experience. We are welcoming guests at limited restaurant capacity. Reservations are encouraged.

Below is a list of some of our many safety procedures:

  • All guests are required to wear masks when not actively eating and drinking.
  • Our dining room is arranged with at least 6 feet between each table.
  • Per CDC guidelines, we can seat no more than 10 guests at a table. We will happily accommodate larger groups split into multiple tables 6 feet apart.
  • All team members must wear masks.
  • Team members responsible for food preparation must wear gloves.
  • We are using single-use, disposable paper menus.
  • Hand sanitizer is available for guests in key areas.
  • Team members are sanitizing all surfaces at an increased frequency.

The Floor Where It Happens

FEATURED SIDE — SWEET POTATO CRUMBLE
Zony Mash Beer Project and Reconcile’s “Black is Beautiful” Imperial Stout infused with Reconcile’s Sweet Potato Crumble will be available for purchase in a few weeks. The goal is to brew a beer that starts conversations about the importance of racial equity both in our community as well as to our young people. Learn More…

Be on the lookout for future updates on when and where you can purchase this new Zony Mash creation. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the “Black is Beautiful” stout will benefit Reconcile’s young people and the work our Program team accomplishes behind the scenes every day, like counseling, life skills workshops, and client assistance grants.In the meantime, you can enjoy the secret ingredient in its original form – as a side item with some of our very best entrées.

Dine in or takeout Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Check out our updated menu or order online, HERE
MEET ONE OF OUR DEDICATED VOLUNTEERS!
On a normal day at Reconcile, with Interns in the building, you would be able to see them on the first floor learning important work and life skills, not just for our Café, but for jobs and opportunities that can propel them towards chasing their dreams.What you don’t see is the work done on our third floor – where 1-on-1 sessions and mock interviews take place — the floor where it happens.

One of Reconcile’s longtime champions and volunteers is Chef Michael Shelton, who offers his time and talent at Reconcile throughout the year specifically during the mock interview process. On Thursday, learn how Chef Mike has made an impact on the lives of our young people, and in turn, how Reconcile has impacted his life.
FAITH’S FULL-TIME JOB JOURNEY…BEGINS NOW!
Congratulations to Faith on landing a full-time job at Avenue Inn Bed & Breakfast, which gives her a total of three sources of income to bounce back from the COVID-19 battle against unemployment. Faith will continue her part-time work in the event industry and as a part-time bartender at The Franklin, a fine dining restaurant in the Bywater. She starts her full-time job tomorrow in the wine bar at Avenue Inn. Keep it up, Faith!

Last month, you learned about Faith’s drive, determination, and desire for success. You supported her when she needed it most. And for that, we say THANK YOU!

If you missed last month’s feature on Faith, click the link below:
CafeReconcile.org | Alumni Like Faith Have Hope for the Future
Together, WE ARE RECONCILE.

August-Only “Coolinary” Menu: Delicious $20 Lunch

      Café Reconcile is thrilled to participate in this year’s Coolinary Event. We are offering a three-course lunch for $20 throughout the month of August!

  • Cup of Chicken and Sausage Gumbo with rice
  • Catfish Plate (served fried, lemon pepper grilled or blackened) with a choice of two of our five sides
    (collard greens, mac & cheese, sweet mashed potato crumble, jalapeño cornbread muffins or potato salad)
  • Bananas Foster Bread Pudding

What Is the Secret Ingredient?

Reconcile Alumni, Rendell (left) and Delvin (right), work with the Zony Mash team.

From Emeril’s Delmonico to Hyatt Regency New Orleans, to the New York City International Culinary Center until landing a key position at NOPSI Hotel and opening his own catering company – Delvin has always been pursuing his professional dreams. But all that has been put on pause due to the pandemic. Delvin will never give up on chasing his dreams. And he can do that because you never give up on Reconcile and the work that help Alumni like Delvin.

Last week, Delvin put his creative talents back to use helping Reconcile and the ZONY MASH BEER PROJECT kick off an important partnership that will create a dynamic synergy, an important dialogue, and a delicious, new stout beer.

Reconcile and Zony Mash have paired up as part of the BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL campaign to brew a unique stout, infused with a special Reconcile secret ingredient. The goal? Brew a beer that starts conversations about the importance of racial equity both in our community as well as to OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. This special collaboration also gave two Reconcile Alumni (pictured: Rendell and Delvin) the opportunity to learn about the brewing industry by working alongside the Zony Mash team to create this special brew.    

“I experienced a lot of things that would have never been possible without Reconcile,” Delvin told us. “I prepared meals with Reconcile Chefs at a Miss America pageant. I cooked at Essence Fest. And now, I have the Zony Mash experience on my resume. I know the brewing process. I have skills that can be transferred to a wide range of industries as I continue to look for a stable job.”

Zony Mash and Reconcile’s “Black is Beautiful” Imperial Stout infused with our secret ingredient will be available for purchase in a few weeks. Be on the look out for future updates on when and where you can purchase. All proceeds will benefit Reconcile’s young people like Delvin and Rendell as they continue to receive services and navigate these uncertain times. 

These partnerships and the continued remote case management supporting Reconcile’s Alumni are made possible thanks to your support! Your contributions ensure Delvin, Rendell, and other Alumni have someone to turn to, client assistance grants to bridge financial gaps, and continued professional development experiences like the one with Zony Mash. 

Small or large, via Facebook or the Donate page, please consider a gift to Reconcile’s Client Assistance Fund and help us continue to provide new job opportunities. It’s one click away.

Will you help?

Thank you for helping Alumni like Fred, Reneil, Ronné, Jeff, Faith, Kierstin, and now…Delvin and Rendell.

Together, WE ARE RECONCILE.