Homeless young people sleeping on public transport are being offered barista jobs in disused Tube station kiosks.
Homeless young people offered barista jobs in disused Tube kiosks
Social enterprise Change Please is to open small coffee shops in seven Tube stations across the capital over the next six months.
Launched in Peckham in 2015, it operates coffee carts part-staffed by homeless people training to be baristas, who are paid the London Living Wage and supported with finding housing, bank accounts and therapy.
When they have completed training, the baristas become mentors to new recruits.
City Hall and TfLs night outreach team will help connect people sleeping on the transport network with Change Please. They are often young people exiting the care system or those on the streets for the first time and so are ideal candidates, according to founder Cemal Ezel.
Mr Ezel said: “You don’t want to go out on the streets, so it inevitably ends up happening because for less than £2 on bus you get some sleep and some sort of sanctuary.
“We are used to operating outside on carts, so this is fantastic for us and will really help the community... Having our coffee in tube stations is perfect - people can get a coffee on the way home, making easy for people to do something good.”
The first cart opens at Clapham Common next week. It will be staffed by expert barista Maikel Torvar, and trainee Matthew, 19, who was sleeping on the Route 45 bus to and from St Pancras after becoming homeless.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to starting. I get paid £10.20 an hour and they are going to help with my housing. I never thought I would be a barista and I don’t think I always will be, but for the first time, I feel there’s a chance to get out of the situation I’m in.” Mr Torvar said he is “so proud#” to be opening the first site.