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Photo courtesy of Broadsheet Media. Photographer: Jeremy Orr

A community response to homelessness  

Our annual CafeSmart campaign is nearly here (August 1st – 7th) and this year, the local impact it will generate for grassroots community services and their clients couldn’t be more urgent. There has been an overwhelming surge in people sleeping rough and couch surfing as the availability of affordable homes plummet. People and families are going hungry as the cost of living makes it near impossible for people on a low income to pay rent and afford basic essentials like food and medicine. Our community partners are noticing new cohorts needing vital support, people in employment, and young families are turning to their local charities for help.

Donations collected during CafeSmart will help those needing it most. Our community grants are vital for funding food and meals programs, emergency aid, medical and street outreach, youth programs, Domestic Violence support and other general services in the community.


the percentage that homelessness has risen in Australia from 2018-22


people are turned away from Specialist Homelessness services each day


of community services report an increase in demand that they simply cannot keep up with

Doing good for your local hood 

CafeSmart makes it easy for people to respond to homelessness in their local region. Just by buying a coffee on CafeSmart day (Friday August 4th) or donating the cost of a cup throughout the whole week, you are helping boost funding for homelessness services in your hood. After the event, funds are pooled and distributed back into the regions in which they were raised.

Better yet, CafeSmart helps grassroots organisations that are often small and underfunded but are doing vitally important work in supporting vulnerable people. Locally funded grants from CafeSmart fill the funding gaps for these organisations and ensure their programs supporting families, women, migrants, those sleeping rough, and those struggling to make ends meet can continue. It is important that crisis support is offered to people experiencing homelessness and those at risk, to prevent their circumstances worsening.

Coffee roasters, cafés and customers collaborate to fund local homelessness organisations, often in the same suburb or town…like in the examples below:

Cafes in Margaret like Yahava CoffeeWorks fundraised to support local services including Just Home Margaret River…

Pictured: Yahava CoffeeWorks Team, CafeSmart participants since 2016!

“The CafeSmart fundraiser is a day our crew really look forward to. It’s a chance to ditch their uniforms for anything yellow. While it is a lot of fun it is also a serious cause. We are passionate about raising funds for folk who really need a hand up in our local community.  Asking our customers to match our donation makes this a special event. It’s a fundraiser we do together. That’s what makes it different” 

Yahava CoffeeWorks in Swan Valley on Whadjuk Noongar Country

We support individuals and families in the Margaret River river at-risk of or experiencing homelessness, something that has been greatly exacerbated due to the housing crisis and cost of living increase. We are now supporting double the number of clients than we were 2 years ago. There are no other local services that support housing needs and this grant will help our vulnerable homeless community”

 Just Home Margaret River
Pictured: Just Home Margaret River on Noongar booja Country (WA)

Cafes in north Brisbane like Told You So fundraised to support local services including The Breakfast Club…

Pictured: Told You So, CafeSmart supporters since 2016!

“Our customers are happy to join in and give generously as they know it’s such a great cause to get behind. Knowing that our donations are going directly to our community and are making a real difference for local homelessness creates trust between us, our customers and CafeSmart. We are very proud to be part of this amazing event.”

Told You So on Gubbi Gubbi Country (QLD)

Homelessness is a big issue for us at the moment with an ever growing number experiencing housing stress and falling into homelessness. Rental costs are increasing and our community is also having difficulty putting food on the table as well as paying other daily living costs. This funding has meant  we can give out 200 day packs to people sleeping rough”

 The Breakfast Club Redcliffe on Gubbi Gubbi Country (QLD)
Pictured: The Breakfast Club Redcliffe

These are just a few examples of how customers and cafes create real change in their local regions through CafeSmart. Last year we made 130 grants worth $159,000 and you can read about that impact in our blog here.


Find your local Cafe to visit on Friday the 4th!

You can help someone experiencing homelessness by buying a coffee at participating cafes on 4th August or donating online HERE.