LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The L.A. Rams are proving to be a force on the gridiron and in the community.
The team, with the help of the Ventura Correctional Facility, worked alongside Dallas-based Café Momentum to host a pop-up dinner in Southern California Monday night, helping to give young people coming out of incarceration a second chance.
Founded by chef Chad Houser, Café Momentum trains at-risk youth in all aspects of the restaurant business.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for us to learn more about the L.A. community, for us to meet people in the community that are doing incredible work and see how we can work alongside them as we look to grow and expand,” Houser said. “My running joke is that I want to open up more Café Momentums than Starbucks.”
Jonathan Franklin, with Rams Community Affairs & Engagement, says the event is only part of a larger effort by the team.
“Obviously we want to win Super Bowls but also we want to be a resource to the community. We want to provide the hope but also maintain it as well. And partnering with Café Momentum we’re able to accomplish that this evening,” he said.
Rams defensive backs Aqib Talib and Nickell Robey-Coleman were at the event to show their support as well — this, despite landing in L.A. at 4 a.m. after the team’s big win in Cleveland.
“The future is always brighter,” Robey-Coleman said. “These guys — they went through something. They made a mistake and now they get a second chance and that’s what it’s all about.”
With his second chance, Café Momentum participant Nyzare Davis hopes to jump start his aspirations of becoming a chef. But to him, this experience was so much more.
“I’ve been incarcerated for about four years … This is my first day being off grounds,” he said. “It feels wonderful.”
Wonderful was a sentiment many of his colleagues shared Monday night; every one of them has spent time in a juvenile correctional facility.
CBS2/KCAL9’s own Jim Hill was among those in attendance Monday night.
“I can tell you, unequivocally: I’ve never seen a team come to our city and give back the way that the Rams have,” he said.