Established in 2011 by the charitable organisation, StreetSmart, CafeSmart is a campaign created with a strong objective in mind – to unite roasters and cafes to tackle homelessness and directly contribute a positive change in their local communities. Heading into its eleventh year, CafeSmart is as passionate as ever in their cause to ensure everyone has a safe and secure place to call home.
As Cafes and Roasters prepare to support CafeSmart from Monday 2nd August – Sunday 8th August, with the main fundraiser day set to be held in cafes nationwide on Friday 6th August. We caught up with the CafeSmart team to chat about what inspired the Australia-wide initiative and what we can expect from CafeSmart 2021.
Homelessness is an issue that touches almost all Australian communities, as on any given night, more than 115,000 Australians are left homeless. A complex issue, with each person having a different journey, homelessness is often the end point to a series of life events leaving individuals in crisis and in need of support. By supporting grassroots projects that tackle homelessness, CafeSmart continues to lend a helping hand to organisations that provide vital frontline services, but struggle with a lack of resources or funding.
It was during the recession brought on by the Global Financial Crisis that StreetSmart noted that while impacted financially, cafes and roasters still were eager to lend a helping hand to their surrounding communities. Following conversations and initial support from such prominent roasters as St Ali, Allpress and Five Senses, the idea of CafeSmart was born.
It became clear that there was real support within the coffee industry and cafes to get involved in community initiatives, and that homelessness was something that they saw on the streets and were concerned by.
For the team at CafeSmart, working alongside the coffee community came naturally. Both deeply invested in creating enjoyable spaces in the community, the unique collaboration has allowed millions of Australians to support a social cause, while enjoying their perfect brew. With more cafes and roasters signing up and participating every year, the team at CafeSmart like to think of their ever growing group of participants as a family.
Coffee brings people together and cafes always act as natural community hubs.
Having distributed over $1.5 Million in funds so far, the CafeSmart team work to ensure that these are allocated directly to grassroot homelessness services and fund initiatives close to where they were originally raised. To date, CafeSmart have supported over 1,000 different projects that tackle homelessness from different walks of life, from disadvantaged youth, victims of domestic violence to refugees and marginalised groups who are left without a home.
The grants are always used locally and in very immediate and practical ways to help people and fill the funding gaps that smaller organisations experience.
CafeSmart 2021 will continue to be rolled out bigger and better across hundreds of cafes, local shops and businesses. This year it’s even more important to support local and to ensure that everyone can connect and contribute to their local communities. The introduction of digital touchpoints this year will allow customers to donate directly via QR codes on posters or via an online fundraising page made for each cafe.
As we approach the seventh consecutive year in which La Marzocco has been a major partner of CafeSmart, we look forward to working closely with the team to raise funds and tackle a big issue that we hold close to our hearts.
To find your closest participating venue, visit the CafeSmart interactive map and contribute to the cause.