Dorothy's Can-Do Cafe open in Lincoln Square

July 25, 2013 10:26:43 AM PDT
Last month a neighborhood cafe opened with two simple goals: sell homemade baking goods and give people with disabilities job skills.

Dorothy's Can-Do Cafe, located in Chicago's Lincoln Square at 4925 N. Lincoln Avenue, offers two years of work in which people with disabilities learn to bake and serve customers. The caf? is a Gateway to Learning special education and training center.

"Dorothy, the founder of Gateway, felt that there was no place good enough for her two special needs children so she started gateway to learning and she based it on food service so they're cooking there're baking lunches," Executive Director Cheryl Hennelly, said. "So I thought let's bring the community to Gateway so that's how the caf? Dorothy's can do began."

All the baked goods are made in the kitchen.

Joan Dunne's daughter, Coleen, is 28 years old.

"Coleen was going to Special Olympics last Friday, and that was the first week they were open here and she [said], 'Mom I would rather be at the caf?.'"

After the eight-stage program, Dorothy's Can-Do Caf? workers go into other jobs.

"We will get them out in the community working another job, not here at Gateway, [but] where they are comfortable," Hennelly said.

The caf? opened on June 10. Already, Dorothy's is looking to expand.

"We are hoping to bring what they are cooking for lunch into here to serve people can buy" 4:42

Dorothy's Can-Do Caf? is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Check out the caf?'s menu at http://www.gtlcandocafe.com/


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