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Our Story

1985 – Recovery Café’s Co Founder Killian Noe, alongside David Erickson, started Samaritan Inns in Washington, D.C.

1999 – Killian moved with her husband and two children to Seattle. Eager to learn about the needs of Seattle’s people and how the city responds to- those needs, Killian visited a wide variety of non-profit agencies in Seattle and saw that programs often lacked te ability to provide adequate recovery support.

1999 – Killian, along with Randall Mullins, started the New Creation Community, an ecumenical faith community committed to contemplation and action.

1999-2002 – New Creation Community members Ruby Takushi, Mary Crow, Angie Wolle, and Cecilia McKean joined Killian in meeting weekly to pray, dream, and envision a response to the needs of those traumatized by homelessness, addiction, and other mental health challenges. Emmy Neilson was the first to invest financially in the dream. 

2003 – Recovery Café was founded as a direct response to the critical, unmet need for those who suffer on the margins – that of long-term recovery support.

2004 – After a long search for a space and a substantial renovation, Recovery Café opened its doors in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle.

2008 – Recovery Café received the End Hunger Mayor’s Award for commitment to feed and supporting the Seattle community

2010 – The Café moved into a new, permanent home in the South Lake Union neighborhood, a space nearly four times larger than the size of the first Café. 

2012 – Recovery Café won the Award for Innovation in Community Engagement and was recognized as an excellent example of how a Recovery Oriented System of Care (ROSC) works by experts from Washington State and King County studying the effectiveness of community treatment models.

2013 – The Café was the recipient of the Family Advocacy Award from the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

2014 – Recovery Café celebrates 10 years of transformative and healing work. The Café also concluded a successful, $12 million capital campaign.

2016 – Recovery Café launches the Recovery Café Network, our model replication effort, helping groups in San Jose, CA and Everett, WA begin their own Recovery Cafés.

2018 – Recovery Café uses the proceeds from selling our South Lake Union location’s parking lot to purchase a building in the SODO neighborhood of Seattle.

2018 – Recovery Café joined in partnership with the Snoqualmie Tribe to begin addressing problem gambling in Washington State.

2019 – The Café successfully completes a $10 million capital campaign and finishes renovations at the SODO Café.

2020Recovery Café SODO officially opens in January providing a second Seattle Café and new home to the Recovery Café Network which is now supporting over 60 other communities. The SODO Café also houses the Recovery Café Health Center, which is operated in partnership with Country Doctor Community Health Centers.