OpenTable: Recidivism, Re-entry + Redemption in Restaurants: From Incarceration to Work at Cala, Cafe Momentum + Edwins
Despite their enthusiasm, Houser knew the deck was stacked against the kids. When one of the young men won a cooking competition and expressed a desire to work in a restaurant, Houser knew the chances were slim he could get a job. Says Houser, “I drove home realizing that the odds were against him. He was going to go back to the same school, house, gangs, everything. The system is rigged. I just thought that it’s not fair for him—his life to date is based on a bunch of choices that were made for him before he was ever born.” Houser’s core realization might have that while all men may be created equal, there isn’t equal opportunity, and it drove him to action. “Somebody has to do something. I wanted something that created an intrinsic feeling of good” says Houser.