Since its inception in 2011, CafeSmart has used Australia’s coffee culture to raise money for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The concept is simple but effective: buy a coffee at a participating cafe on Friday August 7 and a dollar from your purchase will go directly to a person experiencing homelessness or disadvantage in your neighbourhood.

Multiply this by coffee bought at the 415 participating cafes last year, and you have the hefty sum of $120, 000 headed directly for local charity work. Here are three of the 409 charities helped by CafeSmart – support them by grabbing a coffee at a participating cafe locally this Friday.

Lou’s Place
A daytime drop in centre for women, Lou’s Place has a focus on providing a safe environment for homeless women. Located in Kings Cross, the refuge is a place to eat, shower, wash clothes and find new clothing, and also provides access to a number of external services.

Thanks to private donations, such as the $2500 donated by CafeSmart last year, the centre is now in a position to provide extra help, such as food vouchers, transport, assistance with finding accommodation and other surprise expenses. Deborah Banks, CEO of Lou’s Place says, “There are many unexpected expenses that pop up. Often people in that situation need new copies of documentation, which can be an expensive process. For the first time we can help out with these additional costs.”

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Local participating cafes: Marcelle, Coffee Tea & Me – Potts Point, The Rusty Rabbit, The Factory Grind, Paramount Coffee Project.

Dress For Success Sydney
An organisation focused on equipping women with skills to increase their employability, Dress For Success Sydney is all about restoring confidence for women at risk of homelessness. By offering recycled or donated clothing, advice, training and workshops, women are given the tools to help get into employment and gain independence.

Located in Marrickville, Dress For Success Sydney has used the funding from CafeSmart to provide its Image and Presentation Workshops to The Big Issue’s Women Subscription Enterprise. This Get Smart Program educates women on how to effectively present themselves in a professional environment. They are provided with clothes and tools to equip themselves for job interviews.

Dress For Success’s business development manager, Beverley Brock, says the local emphasis of CafeSmart has a great community feel, “We’re surrounded by a lot of cafes – people around here love to know they can buy a coffee – and that the money will go directly to help people in their local area.”

Local participating cafes: Coffee Tea & Me – Marrickville, Sample Coffee Pro Shop, Aslan Coffee, The Little Marionette – Mayfair, 2042 Cafe Deli, Fleetwood Macchiato, Papercup.

Taldumande Youth Service
Supporting vulnerable children and young people in the North Sydney area is the focus of Taldumande Youth Service. The organisation provides a full spectrum of care ranging from a 24- hour crisis refuge, a residential accommodation program, semi-independent housing, and care worker support.

Fundraising and Promotions Manager Katrina Richardson says the last donation of $1, 500 from Cafesmart helped with additional assistance, “We have the view to help our young people live independent lives, and often extra education and assistance is needed. It could be as simple as a warm winter jacket, or even a meal. We don’t receive government funding for emergency assistance in this area, so whether it’s $20 or $200, every donation is a leg up for these kids and young people.”

Local participating cafes: Botanica Garden Cafe, Bay Coffee, Opera Bar Cafe, East Coast Lounge.