The Problem

On average 250 youth age out of the foster care system in Philadelphia annually. They are no longer eligible for support services, often with no family, no job, and no mentors to guide their way.


*Statistics are only available for youth who have aged out of the foster care system.  M&E works with young people ages 18+ who have spent time in the foster care system.  It is our belief that the numbers are greater than the available data shows.  Youth who have spent time in foster care and do not age out of the system - due to reunification with their biological family, adoption or having run away - are often less connected to preventative services and resources.

Program Overview

The Monkey & The Elephant is a nonprofit dedicated to fully supporting the transition from foster care to independence by engaging former foster youth in a holistic employment and life skills program. Functioning as a full-service café, M&E builds a sense of community and belonging for these youth while supplementing short-term employment with longer-term personal and professional development.

The youth who go through the program at The Monkey & The Elephant spend, on average, ten months working at the Café.  In addition to working shifts at the Café (open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and developing the necessary communication skills, discipline, and accountability necessary to successfully hold down a job, they complete a comprehensive program focused on developing their self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-esteem in addition to acquiring tangible life skills like goal setting, time management, conflict resolution, and budgeting.


Intake & Intro to the Cafe
mOnths 1-2

During their first months, time is taken to carefully evaluate where the youth are starting from and understanding what they want to gain from the program, as well as train them on the basics of coffee shop operations.


Program Exercises & employment
Months 3-8

By Month 3, the youth are deep into program exercises and focused on gaining independence from a housing, health, and financial perspective, as well as improving discipline, accountability, and skills in the shop.


Transition Support & Planning
Months 9-10

In their final two months in the program, the focus is helping them define the life they want to lead moving forward and help them to transition to an education program or a new role at another inspiring organization.



We could not do what we do without the support of our funders, sponsors, and partners. We are always looking for new and inspiring organizations and partners so please reach out if you want to help make a difference in our youths' lives.


Funders & Sponsors

Our generous funders and sponsors help make it possible for us to operate and grow our program and the youth we can serve.

Food, Beverage, & Resource Providers

Whether through discounted coffee, or generous donations of time and materials to help with all things shop-related, these organizations help us to help our youth.


non-profit & Programming partners

It takes a village so we work with other non-profits and organizations to help provide our youth with the resources and support they need to be successful..