North Texas restaurant 'Hugs Cafe' helps people with special needs enter the workforce

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A McKinney nonprofit is offering new opportunities to local adults who may struggle to find a job.

It is called Hugs Café, and it employs people with special needs.

The employees have aged out of high school and want to transition to the workforce.

The president and founder of the cafe says 83% of adults with special needs in the U.S. are unemployed.

She opened the cafe to show they can hold down a job.

Cafe employees learn their way around the kitchen, how to serve customers, and to manage money.

The founder gave an example of one employee who is able to use skills learned on the job outside the cafe.

"He has excelled in what he does. His mother said before Hugs, he would go visit friends and go into a bedroom and hide. Now, he tells people what he does. There is no hiding anymore," Ruth Thompson said.

"I realized there was other stuff that could be fun, and after talking to Miss Ruth and Miss Maria about it, I got that chance," said 25-year-old Danny Sigler, who works at the cafe.

Customers can visit the cafe for lunch Tuesday through Sunday. It is located on East Virginia Street in McKinney.