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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 moved 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.