Change Please is a U.K.-based coffee truck that pays the homeless a living wage to make people’s morning lattes
As far as societal issues goes, homelessness presents one of the biggest challenges. It is not enough to simply create more jobs or force those without homes into shelters, both of which often overlook the reasons why people have nowhere to go in the first place. One brand, however, is looking to help end homelessness, one cup of coffee at a time: Change Please.
This British traveling coffee truck will provide Londoners delicious and relatively cheap coffee in order to help create jobs for homeless individuals. Each barista will earn £9.15 an hour in order to make a living wage, and the company will help them rent property by underwriting (akin to co-signing) with them, providing the landlord with the assurance that rent will be paid. Each cup will cost around £2.50, and will include blends of beans from Tanzania and Rwanda, meaning the coffee is good quality as well as doing good for the community.
The project is being funded by founder of Big Issue magazine John Bird and social entrepreneur Cemal Ezel. The Big Issue also provides work for the homeless by giving them a job selling magazines, so the coffee-selling project fits right into the mission of the company. The project will be filling an important need by both giving the homeless jobs but also providing them with useful skills as a barista—as reported in The Guardian, there are expected to be 3,000 new coffee shops by 2020 in the U.K. alone. And all that is required is a change in the morning routine, as Ezel tells The Guardian:
“We guarantee that this program will make a significant contribution to helping alleviate the homelessness problem across the country—if we can get a small proportion of coffee drinkers to simply change where they buy their coffee, we really could change the world. By providing both a job and housing we are immediately lifting people out of homelessness.”
The current truck has 12 workers involved, but as the truck becomes more popular, they are hoping to grow into a 200 person operation, all of whom will be referred b their local councils and charities. If the project works well in its current London home, Change Please will soon hopefully expanded to other cities in the U.K., including Bristol, Nottingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow, getting more homeless individuals off the streets and into a safe and clean working truck.
To see Change Please in action, watch the video below: