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Community Cafe

COMMUNITY CAFÉ is a Northside Houston collaboration for strengthening the human family.

It is a gift to the greater Northside community by Northside Episcopal Church working in partnership with Northside
groups and institutions that have a mission to keep our community - its families and youth - well. The initiative
also prioritizes young adults and opportunity youth in any part of the city. Schools, non-profits, and even small
organizations can partner to implement COMMUNITY CAFÉS to strengthen those they serve or support. Our
vision is a community of wellness built of its own strength.


It is a meaningful gathering of three-hours with a thematic focus such as
parenting or personal wellness in the elder years. The COMMUNITY CAFÉ provides a safe space for peer-to-
peer learning through topical conversation over coffee and more. The offering is built on the research-based
Parent Café model proven to yield specific and measurable results.

What might result?

Based on the certified Parent Café model supported by Be Strong Families since 2007,
the COMMUNITY CAFÉ collaboration in Northside could expect to help increase:

• Individual & family resilience
• Listening skills
• Knowledge of human and/or child development
• Concrete support in times of need
• Social and emotional competence
• Quality of family and community interactions/relationships
• Social connections and cross-ethnic interactions


“I am blessed to be able to pay my bills, but the exhaustion and sometimes
loneliness of being an adoptive family with special needs is hard to remedy even
with God’s abiding. When I left the Parent Café, I was at peace and no longer
running on fumes. I knew I had experienced something that had to be shared.”
– Rev. Carissa Baldwin-McGinnis, Vicar of Northside Episcopal Church


⮚ How does it work?
The Community Café team at Northside Episcopal will help the host organization to: clarify its goals, identify its
focal audience or guest list, select a theme or focus, create and extend invitations, and prepare the Community
Café workshop itself. The Northside Episcopal team will facilitate cafés for a partner organization, where that is
needed and prefers to co-faclitate with staff or volunteers from the host organization when possible.

⮚ What is needed?
An accessible location
A three-hour time block
A comfortable, confidential space
5 or more guest participants
Coffee, tea, and refreshments
A clean and accessible restrooms

⮚ Does it cost money?
No, there is no out-of-pocket cost to partners wishing to host one or more Community Cafés. Northside Episcopal
has raised funds to pay for café promotion, supplies and refreshments during the start-up phase in 2024. When
possible the host organization provides the space and set-up needed for a successful café.

⮚ Does the host or partner organization charge participants?
No. Because the COMMUNITY CAFÉ collaboration is a gift and offering to the community, Northside Episcopal
and its COMMUNITY CAFÉ initiative do not allow partners to charge entry or participation fees.

⮚ Is this a religious thing? What is the real agenda?
Community Café is a secular engagement based on a replication of the Parent Café by Be Strong Families which
has never had any religious affiliation, motivation, or content. The agenda is to strengthen people and families in
ways that increase social connections and access to resources.

⮚ How do I know this is quality?
The effectiveness of the Parent Café model on which the COMMUNITY CAFÉ collaboration has been
demonstrated in over a decade of experiential evidence in communities in the US and abroad as well as by
independent evaluation and research.

⮚ Why not offer small groups ourselves?
To ensure gatherings have the ability to yield the results described above, they must conform to the certified
model developed by Be Strong Families. The benefit to partnering with the COMMUNITY CAFÉ pilot in greater
Northside is that its staff leader has been trained and certified in the Parent Café model. This certification is the
guarantee that the quality and outcomes of the Café events will be built in to the any café event.

⮚ When did this initiative begin in Northside?
Currently we are building Northside partnerships COMMUNITY
CAFÉ to strengthen our life together; to thrive not just survive.