All Good News: Mobile coffee shop in Ontario empowers workers with special needs

It's often hard for young adults with special needs to find work, but a mobile coffee shop in Ontario is working to change that.
ONTARIO, Calif. (KABC) -- There's something different brewing at a mobile coffee shop in Ontario: drinks with names like the iced bipolar, the schizophrenia latte and the autism drip. This is Special Needz Coffee.

Kayla Portillo, who has autism, is one of the baristas.

"I like being able to hang out with my coworkers and stuff," said Portillo.

With the coffee cart, Kayla's disability has become an opportunity to work and learn valuable skills.

"For them it's socialization, it's interaction, it's having normalcy," said Mia Humphreys of Special Needz Coffee.

As their name states, the coffee shop on wheels employs young adults with special needs or those living with a mental illness.

"We are trained in behavioral therapy, and so we are able to provide the training and the work skills to these kiddos to be able to function in a normal work environment," said Humphreys.

"My duties as a manager is making sure all my other co-workers are doing their part, and I also help them when they're in need," said Algeria Nieto.

Hoping to stop the stigma, they're also educating their customers. On the back of each cup is a QR code that explains illnesses and disorders. By doing what they do, they're hoping to bring awareness and love to the community one cup at a time.

You can find the Special Needz Coffee cart set up in a business park at 2920 Inland Empire Boulevard in Ontario, north of the 10 Freeway and east of Archibald Avenue.
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