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Recovery Café soon to serve Tacoma veterans

A first for the area

The Bridge Church at South 56th Street and Puget Sound Avenue will be home to Tacoma’s first Recovery Café. Photo credit: Sonja Garza

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The veterans and homeless who call the Tacoma area their home will soon have the help they need with the addition of Recovery Café to the community, the first of its kind in the area. Recovery Café's mission is simple - to provide help and services to those afflicted by trauma, homelessness, addiction and other mental health challenges. This model comes from the Seattle-based Recovery Café that started in 2004 located in the Belltown neighborhood.

The model is so successful that communities around Washington have opened a Recovery Cafe of their own, particularly in Everett and Vancouver.

The Tacoma-based Recovery Café is spearheaded by Anne Artman, founder of the Multicultural Child and Family Hope Center (MCFHC) in Tacoma, which currently serves children and families through daycare, ECEAP and DSHS contracted services.

Her involvement with the Recovery Café began two years ago when she was invited to a recovery coach training to provide support to people to make a path to recovery. During the five-day training, Vince Collins, director of Access to Recovery, was looking for additional support of the Recovery Café and Artman was first in line. "My existing agency, MCFHC, was in line with what they were looking for."

Over the next year and a half, Artman and Collins worked hand in hand, with their focus being to help the veteran community, since it is a joint passion of theirs. "We want to do everything we can do support our veteran and homeless population," she said.

Partnerships were formed with Work Source, Goodwill (which offers training programs to veterans free of charge) and the Tacoma Rescue Mission, to name a few. And shortly thereafter, the Pierce County Recovery Coalition was formed.

The Recovery Café plans to open in The Bridge Church at South 56th Street and Puget Sound Avenue. "We are still in the early stages but looking at an open date of the end of February," Artman said. For now, work is currently underway to clean and prepare the space for opening day. "We were told by Rev. Abigail Vizcarra Perez, that it was a ‘rebirth' of their church." The Bridge Church is not the only entity on board with the project. Catholic Community Services has made efforts to be involved. "The support of the community is overwhelming. Someone from California sent three computers. We've had calls nonstop to help and companies have sent furniture," said Artman.

Once the doors are open, "we hope to get a good response and for people to use our services," Artman said. "Our long term goal is two more recovery Cafés near downtown Tacoma, hopefully near the rescue mission and maybe one on the east side so there's greater access for everyone."

According to Artman, recovery is a stigma but "in order to make a difference (veterans and homeless), we all have to work together and have strength in partnership," she said.

"The Recovery Café will provide a safe and comfortable, nonjudgmental environment to receive support and help ... and hope for recovery. This kind of support system has never existed before and anyone who walks in will be served."

For more information about Recovery Café, email Anne Artman at or stop by the Multicultural Child and Family Hope Center in Tacoma at 2021 South 19th Street. 

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