“Someone has to Give Them a Chance. What if We All Gave One Person a Chance?”

Gwendolyn Howard owns Gwendolyn’s Café in Fort Myers, Florida. She is a recovering alcoholic, and she hires people who have had addictions of their own, either to alcohol or to illegal substances. Michelle Werline is one of her employees. Her three children had been taken away from her, but after staying sober and clean for five years and after getting a job at Gwendolyn’s Café, she got her children back. She said, “It’s crazy, because I didn’t know that it would ever happen.” Wendie the cook and John the deliveryman have also gotten second chances at Gwendolyn’s Café. Ms. Howard said, “This whole staff for the most part has admitted to stealing,” but she is giving them a second chance “because I like to see them get better.” She added, “I’ve been very lucky, and I want people to have what I have.” She opened her café two years ago and has hired approximately 20 recovering alcoholics and/or drug addicts and/or thieves. She said, “Half of my hires are incredible hires.” They are the ones who are grateful to have a second chance. Ms. Howard said, “Someone has to give them a chance. What if we all gave one person a chance?”

For Further Information: Steve Hartman, “Addicts get second chance at life from cafe owner.” CBS News. 28 September 2012

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