During Homelessness Week 2021 cafes across all states and territories are becoming homelessness advocates by raising awareness about the devastating crisis facing thousands of Australians without a home, and encouraging customers to dig deep to help provide vital funding. Cafes will also be donating $1 per coffee sold on Friday 6 August. What a huge effort in such a tough year.
Danielle Mann is co-owner of two of Darwin’s first specialty coffee cafes – Besser Kitchen & Brew Bar and Laneway Speciality Coffee. Both premises serve up high-quality Campos Coffee and are among CafeSmarts most committed participants.
Danielle has been a part of CafeSmart for six years, first joining us when she was operating a cafe in Sydney. “When I moved back to Darwin, getting our new cafes on board with CafeSmart was one of the first things we did. Even though is a national campaign – you know that it is supporting people in your own backyard and that is really important.
In our area, we have supported two projects that support women and children escaping domestic violence. That is such important impact, and small grants can make a big difference.”
Up North, our CafeSmart grants support the Aboriginal and Islander Women’s Shelter and Dawn House. The Northern Territory has the highest rates of domestic violence in the country, which is why our grants are lending a hand to the work these organisations do. Last year Dawn House supported 500 families in their crisis and transitional housing and our CafeSmart grant helped to fund their children’s school holiday program.
Susan Crane from Dawn House said a bit of fun can make a big difference to children experiencing crisis. “Most of the mother’s we see are on income support, so they would not normally be able to access these types of programs. For children recovering from trauma, getting out of the shelter to go skating and have a bit fun is really positive.”
When CafeSmart sign-up time rolls around each year, Danielle’s two premises are the first to populate our map of participating cafes. She explains that it’s an opportunity to raise funds, awareness, and to be a little creative in supporting the local community.
“CafeSmart is a great way to get raise awareness, involve customers, and it’s a great uplifting event for the staff too. This year, I think we’ll get everyone dressed up in the bright CafeSmart yellow.”
Although her two busy cafes are among the top fundraisers – Danielle is keen to drum up more support for the CafeSmart cause in the Darwin area.
“Darwin is a such a small place, so I know lots of the other cafe owners personally. Through those personal connections and talking about what our cafes are doing – I hope to encourage another 10 cafe’s in Darwin to come on board and raise $5000 for our area.”
One of the humbling things about CafeSmart is that it is a nationwide campaign, driven by local people who care about their community. I asked Danielle what drives her commitment to the campaign.
“The stigma around homelessness doesn’t really match the reality – homelessness can impact anyone. I just want to do what I can, and I think CafeSmart is a simple way to do that”
We will be bringing you more #LocalHero stories in the coming weeks – from cafes big and small.
On August 7th, 491 cafes, 27 coffee roasters and thousands of coffee drinkers helped raise $135,612 to fund local grassroots homeless projects. For every coffee sold, cafes donated $1, coffee roasters supplied beans and customers chipped in.
Across Australia, coffee heads came together to effect change in their local communities. 100% of the funds raised by CafeSmart combined with other funds raised by StreetSmart have now been allocated through 132 Community Grants totaling $151,800. Grants target helping people who are homeless or at risk in communities where cafes have raised the funds.
Adam Robinson CEO of StreetSmart Australia said “Having over 500 small businesses involved and engaged during National Homeless Prevention Week, not only raised vital funds but also created great awareness around the issue of homelessness and what people can do to help. Yet again the coffee industry has shown how generous and community minded they are. The funding raised goes to some of our smallest, yet vital, community groups and not for profits, who have seen funding stripped out of the sector.”
The results are in… and we drank coffee and did good!
On 7th August 491 cafes participated in CafeSmart 2015 to make it our biggest yet and huge success. Generous Cafe partners donated $1 per coffee sold on the day, supported by a list of top coffee roasters, sponsors and generous customers who also chipped in. Last years $120,000 tally has been beaten – and $135,612 was raised on the day! We applaud and thank everyone who got involved, sponsored and donated, and make special mention of our top fundraisers and Award winners.