By CARLA WIJAYA
Cafés across Australia have contributed one dollar from every coffee sold today to fight homelessness.
The fundraising initiative, CafeSmart, falls on the second-to-last day of Homelessness Week, and is supported by 750 Australian cafés and coffee roasters.
The fundraiser will fund organisations to provide meals, showers, medical services, employment training and legal services for the homeless.
The CafeSmart campaign raised $1 million when it first ran in 2018 for multiple Melbourne-based foundations including FareShare, Eureka Mums, Everybody’s Home and Footscape.
According to the 2016 Australian Bureau of Statistics Census, 116,000 Australians were listed as homeless.
The CEO of CafeSmart’s parent organisation StreetSmart Australia, Adam Robinson, said the success of the fundraiser reflects the community’s enthusiasm to ignite change.
“CafeSmart is really a reflection of how our community wants to do something to help people in their neighbourhoods and solve the problem,” Mr Robinson said.
“It’s a great team effort,” he said.
Co-owner of a Richmond café A Thousand Blessings, Phoebe Ozgur, said the cafe staff were keen to do their part to raise awareness about homelessness.
“Our name is ‘A Thousand Blessings,’ and it’s right that we do have so many blessings,” she said.
“It’s just a really nice way to give back to the community,” Ms Ozgur said.
Soy milk provider Happy Happy Soy Boy will reimburse A Thousand Blessings, among other cafés, for the soy milk used for the day in an effort to support the fundraiser.
Coffees made using the Happy Happy Soy Boy milk will have an additional dollar donated to the fundraiser.
You can participate in the campaign online using the hashtag #helpyourhood.