Café Momentum offers positive life skills to kids impacted by juvenile justice system

Café Momentum aims to transform the lives of justice-involved youth by equipping them with life skills, education and employment opportunities. (Café Momentum)

On any given day, nearly 60,000 youth are incarcerated in juvenile jails and prisons in the United States, according to the ACLU.

At the start of 2024, more than 10,000 children and teens were involved in Georgia’s juvenile justice system. Café Momentum is attempting to give these youth a more positive trajectory.

Young people in Nashville, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and soon Atlanta are learning culinary skills to operate a nonprofit restaurant. Tristyn Williams is one of those chefs-in-training, who says her go-to dish is buttermilk biscuits. Her time as an ambassador for the Dallas nonprofit restaurant has sparked her dream of going to culinary school and possibly opening an eatery of her own.

The Atlanta Café Momentum is expected to open at 200 Peachtree Road Northeast. On Tuesday’s edition of “Closer Look,” Williams and Chad Houser, the founder and CEO of Café Momentum, discussed the nonprofit’s impact on youth in other cities and the change they hope the Atlanta restaurant will bring.