This August, hitting up your local cafe can mean a lot more than just buying another flat white. For the past 11 years, Cafesmart has helped funnel Australia’s love for coffee into a good cause. Similar to its restaurant counterpart Dinesmart, Cafesmart is an initiative of charity StreetSmart that helps hospitality venues such as cafe and roaster Industry Beans – and its coffee-loving patrons – raise money to fight homelessness.

“Cafesmart is such an important cause,” says Industry Beans co-founder Steven Simmons. “Given that coffee is such a daily habit for so many people, contributing a dollar from a coffee and promoting the important cause of homelessness is something that sits really well with us.”

This year, on Friday August 5, participating cafes will donate $1 from each coffee sold to Streetsmart. For Simmons, it represents a small way to give back to a tight-knit local community.

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“The people that have got us through the last couple of years of challenges around the pandemic have been people that live across the road or around the corner or work in the building next to us,” says Simmons. “Engaging with that local community is really important to us, and we see that same approach with CafeSmart.”

Streetsmart spreads its funds across a range of partners that work directly with locals, providing help on the ground. In Victoria alone, Streetsmart has contributed funds to over 300 organisations, including the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and Melbourne City Mission.

Since first signing up to Cafesmart in 2015, Industry Beans has raised more than $15,000. This year, Simmons believes those funds are more important than ever. “Through the last couple of years, homelessness has become a greater issue,” says Simmons. “As everyone says, there’s no easy answers to it, but raising awareness is a key part of having that conversation – and being able to provide ways for local businesses to contribute funding to programs that improve the homelessness situation is important as well.”

Simmons is doing what he can to spread the word further than just Industry Beans cafes. “We put it out to our wholesale partner network that Industry Beans is a passionate supporter of Cafesmart and we would love for them to jump on board,” Simmons says.

For cafes and roasteries that are yet to sign up, Simmons recommends getting involved. “Cafesmart does really great work on a really important issue through the Streetsmart platform,” Simmons says. “Your customers are going to genuinely appreciate that they’re contributing to solving this problem.”

On Friday August 5, participating cafes will be donating $1 from every coffee sold to Cafesmart. To sign up a cafe partner, visit the Cafesmart website

Broadsheet is a proud partner of Cafesmart