A downtown cafe in Fort Myers, Florida, is making headlines for serving up second chances.
Gwendolyn Howard, owner of Gwendolyn's Cafe, hires recovering addicts to work at her restaurant.
"I like to see them get better," said Howard of her decision to hire individuals other employees won't.
"It's giving a second chance or a fourth chance or a 47th chance to someone who may question where they are," she told NBC2.
Howard herself is a recovering alcoholic and understands her employees' daily struggles. Since the cafe opened in 2010, she's hired about 20 recovering addicts to work for her. Of those, about half have been "incredible hires," she told CBS News.
"You take your chances with human beings," Howard told the News-Press. "I'd rather work side by side with someone who admits there was a problem rather than someone who's living in it and lying about it."
"I've been very lucky and I want people to have what I have," a tearful Howard told CBS News.
One waitress, Michelle Werline, is especially grateful for the second chance. Thanks to her sobriety and a stable job at Gwendolyn's Cafe, Werline has been reunited with her three kids previously taken away from her by the state.
"And they live with me and I provide for them," Werline said. "And I wouldn't be able to do that without this job."
The News-Press reports that the cafe also holds 12-step meetings, community awareness events and social events for young people in recovery after-hours.
"Someone has to give them a chance. What if we all gave one person a chance?" Howard asked.