Coffee Shop Employs Homeless Individuals

Making a Profit
Helping Stabilize Lives

Coffee Shop Employs Homeless Individuals On August 11, 2014, ThinkProgress featured a story about the RedTail coffee shop in Fort Collins, Colorado that is working to employ the homeless.

The Coffee Shop is Staffed by Homeless People – And It’s Working” highlights the efforts of Seth and Kelly Kelley to give homeless and low-income individuals both work experience and to fight the stigma of the RedTail low-income housing that is currently under development.

“Getting a job can be difficult for anyone in our nation’s ongoing employment slump. For every job opening, there are currently more than three unemployed people looking for work. And those already-difficult odds are significantly exacerbated for job applicants who can’t afford a home.”

And after only three months of operation, the Kelley’s and their coffee shop are making a profit. And they are dispelling the stereotype that the homeless are lazy and don’t want to work.

“’It challenges the idea that people who are homeless are lazy or just aren’t working hard enough,” Seth Kelly said. And Seth was effusive in his praise of his homeless employee. ‘He’s an incredible guy. You would never know he was homeless. He used to be an editor for novels, brilliant guy.’

About the employee who is experiencing homelessness and was hired when the shop opened, “He also works incredibly hard. Every morning, for instance, has to wait in line at the shelter to get a shower, which needs to be done early enough to grab breakfast, which has to be done early enough to catch the bus across town in order to get to work on time. ‘It takes a tremendous amount of work, way more than the average person, just to get out of homelessness,’ Seth noted.”

Click here for the full article.