A Houston Coffee Shop Gives Human Trafficking Survivors Skills For ‘Meaningful Work’

“Some of our participants came never having cooked a meal from scratch before. … They’re all able to actually go get jobs in the industry.”

By Alvaro CéspedesOctober 22, 2018 7:20 am| ,

A 2nd Cup is a nonprofit coffee shop in the Heights area of Houston. Its mission is to end human trafficking and empower victims through what it calls “meaningful work.”

This year, A 2nd Cup started a culinary program called Brazen Table, which lasts 22 weeks and is specifically aimed to train survivors of human trafficking how to work in a commercial kitchen.

Brooke Evans, A 2nd Cup’s operations director, says it combines classroom teaching with hands-on training.

“Some of our participants came never having cooked a meal from scratch before, and they all, at the end of it, took their ServSafe test. They all passed, and they’re all able to actually go get jobs in the industry,” Evans says.

Participants in the Brazen Table program come from different parts of the United States.

“But everyone’s background is different,” Evans says. “Some of them are trafficked by family members. Sometimes they’re in a vulnerable situation, and someone preys upon that.” 

For Evans, it is through the development of skills like cooking that survivors can find a way to escape trafficking and have a better life.

“This is what we can do as a shop to help others actually become independent and have meaningful work at the end of the day,” Evans says.

Written by Alvaro Céspedes.