Southfield (CW50) – Friendship Circle was founded 26 years ago with a goal to provide every individual with special needs the support, friendship and inclusion they deserve. The nonprofit provides assistance and support to 3,000 individuals with special needs and their families through recreational, social, educational and vocational programming.

Friendship Circle has provided vocational and employment opportunities to individuals for several years through its Soul Projects, which include the Soul Cafe, Soul Trainee Program, and Soul Studio Program. The Soul Cafe provides employment and job training to individuals with special needs, providing a safe and inclusive environment for them to learn the skills needed to find employment at other cafes. The Soul Trainee and Soul Studio Programs provide restaurant skill training and art education respectively.

Friendship Circle recently purchased the Dakota Bread Company. The bakery, like the Soul Cafe, will allow adults with special needs to train on the job and learn the necessary skills required to find employment at any bakery around the country. Friendship Circle retained all 11 of the Dakota Bread Company’s employees in order continue their work while providing training to the new special needs employees.

Community Connect Host Lisa Germani, with Co-Founder of Friendship Circle Bassie Shemtov

Bassie Shemtov, Co-Founder of Friendship Circle, joins Lisa Germani on Community Connect to talk about how much Friendship Circle has grown and why buying the Dakota Bread Company was important to the organization.

Learn more about Friendship Circle at FriendshipCircle.org

Watch COMMUNITY CONNECT, Saturday at 7am on CW50

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