Coffee trucks staffed by the homeless will start appearing around London today (23 November) as part of a new project that aims to help take more people off the street. Change Please is backed by the Big Issue and will take a similar approach to easing homelessness in the capital.
The project will train homeless people as baristas, pay them the London living wage and underwrite tenancies for the workers, who would otherwise have trouble finding landlords who would let them rent.
Figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government released in September said that homelessness in the capital had increased by 10% in just one year.
The coffee will be a special blend of beans from Tanzania, Columbia and Rwanda. There are plans for the project to extend to Bristol, Manchester, Nottingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The initiative was founded by Cemal Ezel, who also co-founded the Old Spike Roastery, a coffee shop that employs local homeless people in Peckham and helps them find housing, in the same style as Change Please.
Earlier in November, George Clooney used his celebrity to highlight the work of Social Bite – a sandwich chain where 1 in 4 staff are formerly homeless and all profits are given away to good causes.