A new café at a RISE AmeriCorps host site is serving up house-brewed coffee from Guatemala, horchata, enchiladas and more for a cause. IC Compassion’s Jabez Café trains young adults with disabilities to gain job skills, confidence and independence while working at the Latin-inspired venue.
Open Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each week, Jabez Café is easily accessible through the IC Compassion building at 1035 Wade St. in Iowa City. Upon entering, guests are welcomed with a warm environment, the smell of coffee and a lunch menu with Latin American staples. Most importantly, the space is a community for immigrant families with disabilities.
The Jabez Café project started in spring, 2022 after a group of immigrant parents gathered to improve opportunities for their children with disabilities, including several with autism and Down syndrome. IC Compassion’s Program Coordinator Dayrin Lovan, who is also a former RISE AmeriCorps member, spearheads the project. Her son, Jabez, was one of the first students to try out the model and is the namesake behind the café.