Café the Lodge Secretary of Labor Visit
June 25, 2021
Café the Lodge, a program of Resources for Human Development, hosted some VIPs recently— Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and Congresswoman Susan Wild.
The stop at Café the Lodge was part of the June 2 itinerary for Walsh, Wild, and a group of Labor Department officials as they traveled across the Lehigh Valley to meet with business, labor, and local leaders to discuss and promote the American Jobs Plan. Other stops on their tour included Lehigh Heavy Forge and SteelStacks art campus in Bethlehem.
The honored guests enjoyed a tour and lunch in the Mindfulness Garden. They also engaged in discussion about the vocational and residential programs at The Lodge, the importance of supporting The Lodge’s population, and the need to address the lack of affordable housing in the area. The Lodge, which supports Café the Lodge, provides supported housing, educational and recreational programs, and vocational opportunities for adults with mental illness. At the conclusion of the visit, a member of the delegation commented, “The Secretary and our team loved getting to see all of the work that you’re doing and meet with some of the employees directly.”
Café the Lodge is a full-service cafe that employs people in recovery from mental health challenges. Clients prepare and serve quality coffee, tea, pastries, and wholesome breakfasts and lunches in an environment that affirms self-determination and fosters productivity and community inclusion. RHD founded Café the Lodge in 2011, and the program has since become a thriving business and fixture in the Bethlehem community.
Reflecting on the delegation’s visit, Café the Lodge Program Director Ian Panyko shared, “The visit from Secretary Walsh and Congresswoman Wild happened very fast and we jumped at the great opportunity to discuss recovery and the need for supportive programs in the community. We hope that when thinking about recovery programs, Café the Lodge and the wonderful employees we have are being thought of as the picture of recovery!”