Many of us pride ourselves in giving second chances, and a coffee house up in Claremore is serving up a second chance at a better life.
Shawnte Gordon takes orders at the She Brews Coffee Shop in Claremore. The sign on the window says, “This is not an ordinary coffee shop,” and that’s a considerable understatement.
It’s actually a recovery program, and what they are really serving up, is self-respect and confidence.
Shawnte was in prison for 18 years before she started working at She Brews.
"I came here, got my first paycheck working here; I've learned all sorts of job training skills. I get to be the manager here," she said.
And she is very busy.
She Brews was started by Rhonda Bear. Some of the folks saw what she was doing and decided to help.
"Everything began to be donated, and everything came together, and we've been here for two years," Bear said.
She was also in prison for more than a decade. Someone helped her when she got out, and that's what she is doing with other women - particularly those with children.
"I think if I can save the mother I can save the children," Bear said.
She has five transition homes in Claremore, and 15 women in her program right now - women like Shawnte, learning to live and getting better.
Bear said, "They start working here, the community gets to know them, so the community knows them instead of their criminal past. It gives them a chance."
She Brews Coffee House is at 414 West Will Rogers Boulevard in Claremore, right in the heart of downtown.