Homeless moms get help through new café

By: ToLewis, The Press Tribune
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Homeless and at-risk mothers in Placer County will receive a little extra help this Mother’s Day thanks to a new café in Roseville. Now in its third week of operation, the café at Renew Boutique in Downtown Roseville offers fresh pastries, salads and sandwiches with all proceeds benefiting Acres of Hope. Acres of Hope is a faith-based renewal center offering a two-year program dedicated to helping at-risk mothers get their lives in order. The organization, located in a renovated hotel at an undisclosed location in the Sierra foothills, provides practical life-skills training, education, support and housing for women who are homeless or who have drug addiction problems. “The purpose of this unique faith program is to provide the resources and support needed to end the cycles of homelessness,” said Renew Boutique manager Renee Baber. The new café provides an opportunity for shoppers to enjoy lunch with complimentary coffee or tea on the shaded garden patio overlooking Downtown Roseville. The boutique has partnered with local chef Troi Frankhuizen of “A Chef’s Affair” in Granite Bay and other food vendors to receive pre-made breakfast and lunch items daily. Menu items include Thai noodle salad, broccoli salad, chicken madras wrap, Mediterranean tuna salad sandwich, grilled vegetable wraps and more. Fresh pastries, cookies, cupcakes and other sweet treats are also available. Volunteer Carol Lawson has been donating her time once a week for almost two years to Renew Boutique and Acres of Hope and says Baber has helped the organization immensely. “I’ve watched this from the beginning and it’s unbelievable what she has done,” Lawson said. “It’s just these women, you see their pictures on the wall. That’s why we do it, to make a difference in their lives.” Renew Boutique opened more than two years ago as a fundraiser for the nonprofit. It is now one of the premier funding sources for Acres of Hope aside from grants and donations, Baber said. Baber said everything sold at Renew Boutique is donated and that the store has nearly doubled its proceeds in the last year, providing even more help to women in need. Baber describes the clothing items sold as “high end” women’s clothing and accessories and the inventory changes almost daily, based on whatever is donated that week. “That’s kind of the fun of it,” Baber said. “It’s kind of a high-end treasure hunt. There’s always fun things and it changes literally every day.” Toby Lewis can be reached at