Wells Fargo gift supports employment for people in mental health recovery at RHD’s Café the Lodge

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People in recovery from mental health challenges will have greater opportunities for employment and independence thanks to a gift from Wells Fargo to RHD’s Café the Lodge, a bustling Bethlehem eatery staffed almost entirely by adults with mental illness that serves up coffees, pastries, breakfasts and lunches to the public.

The Café is part of The Lodge, a program of Resources for Human Development, which provides housing, educational and recreational programs and vocational opportunities for adults with mental illness.  Wells Fargo’s gift of $5,000 will be used to expand employment opportunities, fund training and workforce development, increase sales and generate new customer contacts.

Wells Fargo will present this gift to Café the Lodge at a media event June 1 at 2 pm at the Café, located at 427 E 4th St., Bethlehem, Pa.

“We are so grateful to Wells Fargo for their generous support,” said Café The Lodge Director Ian Panyko. “The Lodge strives to employ and train people with a mental health diagnosis so they can become empowered to take charge of their lives, and their futures. Wells Fargo’s longtime partnership has been invaluable in supporting that mission.

“When Wells Fargo invests in Café the Lodge, they invest in people. And investing in people changes the world.”

Previous Wells Fargo gifts have allowed The Café to double its menu, expand its catering and remodel its outdoor dining area. Through these improvements, onsite sales increased by 20 percent.

“We are thrilled to continue our support of Café the Lodge,” said Laura B. Haffner, area president for Wells Fargo’s Lehigh Valley region. “We believe in the important work that they do and the positive impact it has on our community, for both employees and patrons.”

The idea for Café the Lodge came from program participants and residents who expressed a desire to work at jobs that make them feel productive and part of the community. Café the Lodge opened in 2011 and has since become a thriving business and a fixture in the Bethlehem community.