Café Momentum Impact

Since 2015, Café Momentum has served more than 1,200 youth in Dallas, Pittsburgh and Nashville through its paid internship program. This program is helping Café Momentum interns break the cycle of incarceration.

Personal and Community Support

The secret behind Café Momentum’s success is the Momentum Model for Youth Justice. The Momentum model offers an ecosystem of support, including educational and financial literacy, paid workforce development training, life-skills and social-skills training. Because of this wraparound support, interns can build strong foundations to get their education back on track and gain financial stability.

Café Momentum’s success in Dallas, Pittsburgh and Nashville has transformed the lives of justice-involved youth and every customer who eats at their restaurant. As interns interact with the customers, bridges are created, and mutual respect is built.

Café Momentum serves a unique recipe for success: The interns defy the odds and stay out of the juvenile justice system as they move forward with their lives. Diners receive exceptional customer service and award-winning meals and can experience each intern’s capabilities and dignity firsthand.

Our Success is Measurable

$ 26

total intern wages earned in 2023

42 %

are making academic progress

42 %

completed or were in compliance with any court orders

42 %

had a bank account enabling future ability to finance or receive credit — compared to the 25% who have a bank account upon entering the program

21 %

are voluntarily receiving counseling — 100% of the interns entering our program had at least one Adverse Childhood Experience in their history

*Dallas, Pittsburgh and Nashville, based on one year from the start of the program.

Our Growth Timeline

Doors Open

Café Momentum opens in Dallas

Momentum Society Dallas is launched

In 2016, Café Momentum’s Momentum Society was created when a group of community leaders and social entrepreneurs joined forces to Eat. Drink. And Change Lives. With an annual gift of $5,000 or greater, this distinguished group of generous donors exemplifies what collective community leadership can achieve. 

Chad Houser named CNN Hero
Café Momentum’s Chad Houser named CNN Hero
Momentum Advisory Collective

Café Momentum forms Momentum Advisory Collective (M.A.C.) and announces national expansion

First Expansions

Café Momentum launches its first expansions: Nashville & Pittsburgh

Super Bowl Week in Los Angeles

Café Momentum hosts pop-up dinner in Los Angeles during Super Bowl Week with Stand Together and Players Coalition

Café Momentum Pittsburgh Opens

Café Momentum Pittsburgh opened its doors March 1st, 2023—ribbon cutting ceremony by Gene Walker, Chad Houser, and Chef Peter Henry.