Hundreds of cafés across Australia are uniting to take action against homelessness through CafeSmart 2021. Held this week from the 2 to 8 August, cafés will raise money to support their local homelessness charities and services.
Running alongside Homelessness Week 2021, cafés will become advocates for this issue, raising awareness about the devastating crisis facing thousands of Australians without a home and encouraging customers to dig deep to help provide vital funding.
Participating cafés will also be donating $1 for every coffee sold on Friday 6 August.
“CafeSmart offers a quick and easy opportunity for customers to provide crucial support to vulnerable people in their area, while also supporting a local café that gives back to its community. It’s a win-win,” says Geoff Hills, CEO of StreetSmart Australia.
“Visit your local CafeSmart café to purchase a coffee on Friday 6 August, or simply donate the cost of a coffee online, and you will help deliver vital emergency funding to small, local grassroots homeless charities.”
Funds raised are kept local, meaning cafés are directly supporting homeless services in their region. Over the past 10 years, CafeSmart has raised and distributed over $1.5 million to more than 1000 local projects by bringing together local café businesses and coffee drinkers, to help vulnerable people in their neighbourhood.
According to the 2020 Foodbank Hunger Report, the COVID-19 pandemic has doubled the demand for emergency food relief, rising from 15 per cent in 2019 to 31 per cent in 2020. This has highlighted the critical role CafeSmart funding plays in supporting charities who provide essential services to some of the most disadvantaged Australians.
According to Social Ventures Australia, more than 71 per cent of charities reported an increased demand during 2020 and 86 per cent reporting a reduction in revenues. More than 72 per cent of volunteer programs were also severely impacted, according to Volunteering Australia.
“Every dollar helps us get healthcare to those living on the streets doing it tough. CafeSmart funds help support our medical outreach clinics. We provide healthcare to vulnerable individuals and families experiencing homelessness and poverty across Australia,” says Sonia Goodwin of social enterprise Sunny Street.
Donations raised through CafeSmart provide urgent emergency grants to grassroots homeless charities that often have little public funding to sustain their work.
These frontline services are delivering hot meals, supporting victims of domestic violence providing a safe place to sleep, supplying free medical care, and working hard towards long term solutions to the crises.
To join the fight against homelessness, find your local participating café via the CafeSmart interactive map or donate the cost of a coffee online, visit: www.streetsmartaustralia.org/cafesmart/