The Connection, a homelessness charity in Westminster, wants to create an inclusive community space in the courtyard behind St Martin’s.
The courtyard is currently not open in the mornings and the space can become a magnet for anti-social behaviour, which many in the local community would like to see change.
Our idea is to open up this space by developing a morning coffee kiosk – for commuters, residents and homeless people alike. Community events will also be hosted here, such as breakfasts, markets and music/arts.
This will sit alongside developing a route to market for products that homeless people will start to produce from our kitchen training centre at The Connection: juices, ice lollies and baked goods. Our networks of local businesses can support this enterprise.
A barista and hospitality training program for homeless people will be launched, providing accreditation and a route into work, increasing the chances that homeless people have to become involved in the community.
What we'll deliver:
- A barista and hospitality program for our homeless clients
- A high-quality coffee service for local commuters, workers and residents alike
- Provide jobs for our homeless clients
- Extend the opening hours of the courtyard into the morning
- A green haven to escape the everyday stresses of busy London life
- Generate funds to support our homeless clients off the streets and into employment
- A space in central London to host community events
- Provide an easy alternative to giving money to begging
- A social and environmental alternative to the many coffee chains dominating the area
- A relaxing space for the local community to come together
Why it's a great idea:
This is a great idea as we are both regenerating an underused resource in our community, as well as developing a self-sustaining training program and jobs provider for one of the largest and most underserved cohorts in our community, the homeless population. For many of our clients, their only route off the streets is through work and through finding accommodation through the private rented sector. By establishing a busy and high-class coffee kiosk to serve our community of commuters, tourists and office workers, we are also establishing a business that can directly impact those currently sleeping rough in the very vicinity of the kiosk itself.
Steps to get it done:
- Obtain keys to kiosk
- Create coffee product and source all enironmentally friendly packaging
- Kit out the kiosk to be ready for trading
- Install the new equipment and signage with our trainees, staff and local community volunteers
- Install our new planters and planting to further green the kiosk area
- Hire initial cohort of trainees, volunteers and staff
- Start first cohort of trainees on their first accredited training courses
- Community open days in the form of 'Communal Breakfasts'
- Trial run of the kiosk for friends, family and local community
- Official opening