CADILLAC, Mich. (WLNS) — Located in the historic train depot in Cadillac, Michigan is a non-profit 501-c restaurant that is dedicated to employing adults with development disabilities and cognitive impairments.

After 26 Depot restaurant serves breakfast and lunch daily. The After 26 Project was originally inspired by a restaurant in Chesaning, Michigan, called the Junction of Hope.

In Michigan, at the age of 26, adults with developmental disabilities and cognitive impairment can no longer attend public schools; they age out of the system.

For these individuals, this is a challenging and confusing time, suddenly, there is a huge void in their life, and they have nothing to do. It also adversely affects the family as they see their loved one struggle with what to do next.

So in 2007, a group of like-minded people set out to open a restaurant to help fill that void and provide jobs in the greater Cadillac community. The original board was made up of retired school teachers, municipal workers, and private business people.

When given a chance, adults with disabilities can perform effectively in the workplace. One other critical aspect of the mission is that ‘Project Workers’ work are seen in the public eye, not off in a corner doing piece work in a sheltered workshop.

Part of the mission is also to inform and educate the public that developmentally disabled adults have the aptitude and the ability to perform in the workplace; they just need a chance.