Coffee Ground: Providing much more than a great cup of coffee

Coffee Ground is a new social enterprise designed to provide training, employment, social inclusion and support for people who have experienced homelessness. The project includes tenants from Common Ground and Goulburn Street Supportive Accommodation. The social enterprise is located at the Campbell Street Salvation Army Housing Common Ground site in Hobart’s CBD.

Coffee Ground was awarded a Grant to End Homelessness to support its establishment.

Coffee Ground aims to address the power imbalance that formerly homeless individuals consistently experience, by actively participating in a social enterprise with the primary purpose being to provide tailored skills and training. Coffee Ground aims to allow people the opportunity to re-engage with the community on their terms.

By providing avenues that promote participation, inclusiveness and active decision making, the community at Salvation Army Housing Common Ground have realized the benefits that come from being self-determined.

Coffee Ground is designed to help its employees:

  • Improve mental health
  • Improve physical health
  • Improve relationships
  • Increase connection with the wider community
  • Increase access to resources
  • Increase the scope of possible future activities.

In terms of turnover, Coffee Ground quickly reached its breakeven point of 100 coffees a day. It wasn’t long until sales were up to 150 coffees a day. Sales have plateaued at around 160-170 coffees per day, which keep the staff very busy.

The real success lies in the achievements of the workers. One example is an employee who hadn’t worked for 17 years. He is now up at 6.30am each morning to help set up the coffee van, unpack the tables and chairs and do any cleaning that is required in the courtyard.

The enterprise has received much support from local businesses and the community.

Prior to the commencement of Coffee Ground,  ten Common Ground tenants completed the TasTAFE Barista course. Of the ten that participated in the course, seven have been employed at Coffee Ground.

The cafe continues to help formerly homeless people improve their skills, gain valuable work experience and earn money, and provide locals with great tasting coffee.