CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - For months now, construction crews have been hard at work on the Community Matters Café off W. 1st Street in uptown Charlotte.
The café is going to be an extension of the Charlotte Rescue Mission, which is headquartered right next door. The rescue works to help people overcome their struggles with addiction. For years, the café building had sat idle. That will no longer be the case thanks to the rescue and several sponsors.
“The purpose of this is to create a job skills environment so that our residents who graduated from our core program can complete an additional four months of training and really build up their life skills,” said Ed Price, Director of Life Skills Operations at the Charlotte Rescue Mission.
Price said the café will employ several full-time workers who will work alongside people who have gone through the rescue mission program.
Charlotte resident Rudolph Senat is one of the many people who has helped get the café ready for business. He opened up to WBTV about his struggles with addiction.
“I started to let the alcohol override work and I was partying too much,” Senat told WBTV.
He said he turned to the rescue for help and they have been able to assist him in getting his life back on track.
“They’ve given me mercy. When I first came here they gave me mercy, which I should have been kicked out,” said Senat jokingly.
He said he has helped do a lot of the landscaping work outside of the café and looks forward to learning even more when the café is open and serving customers.
During his interview with WBTV, Price spoke about the late Reverend Billy Graham and the impact his family has had on the rescue. Graham’s father, W. Frank Graham, was one of the original founders of the organization.
“His impact and his legacy is something we always talk about and his influence and his reach continues to resound through these halls,” said Price.
The café is scheduled to open in early April. Price said the proceeds generated by the café will go back into the organization.