Fig Tree, Chickpea, Jas cafes to combat homelessness

CUPPA FOR A CAUSE: Café Chickpea owner Lyn Witney-Drum, Business Horsham executive administrator Wendy Mitchell, Café Jas owner Sharron Keating and Fig Tree Café owner Brad Koenig raise a glass for CafeSmart, which raises money for tackling homelessness through coffee sales. All three cafes will donate $1 from each coffee sale to the initiative on Friday. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

CUPPA FOR A CAUSE: Café Chickpea owner Lyn Witney-Drum, Business Horsham executive administrator Wendy Mitchell, Café Jas owner Sharron Keating and Fig Tree Café owner Brad Koenig raise a glass for CafeSmart, which raises money for tackling homelessness through coffee sales. All three cafes will donate $1 from each coffee sale to the initiative on Friday. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

THREE Horsham cafes will donate cash from coffee sales to combating homelessness on Friday.

Café Jas, Fig Tree Café and Café Chickpea are participating in CafeSmart, a one-day annual event that raises money to support programs against homelessness.

Participating cafes will donate $1 for each coffee sold on Friday.

The money will go to grassroots projects in Horsham, such as Business Horsham's Target 365.

Target 365 aims to pay for 365 nights of accommodation for Wimmera people experiencing homelessness.

Business Horsham executive administrator Wendy Mitchell said the initiative was born of 'A Night on the Couch in the Park' sleep-out against homelessness at May Park in Horsham in 2011.

"All of the attendees that slept out brainstormed ideas, and Target 365 came of that," Mrs Mitchell said.

"The target was to raise $100 a night for 365 nights of accommodation."

"We're almost there - the funds raised through the CafeSmart program should finally get us to that level."

She said Café Jas raised more than $350 for CafeSmart last year.

It was one of 275 participating cafes, which helped raise a total of $83,950.

Money raised supported 77 projects nationally, including Target 365, which received $750.

Mrs Mitchell was excited Fig Tree Café and Café Chickpea were also getting involved this year.

"This is a very generous business commitment as it doesn't cost the consumer any more to purchase their coffee," she said.

"The donation comes directly out of the pockets of the business owners."

Fig Tree Café co-owner Charmaine Koenig said she and husband Brad were keen to help the cause.

"We're just hoping that people come in and support it," she said.

"Even if they don't drink coffee, perhaps they could still come in and make a donation, or buy a coffee for someone else.

"I don't know what it's like to be homeless, but I take it on these really cold nights it's not brilliant.

"So if we can help out, we should."

This week is national Homeless Person's Week.

The region's major event is a sleep-out at May Park on Wednesday from 6pm.

Wimmera Uniting Care helped 2418 people that were homeless or experiencing homeless in the 2013-14 financial year.

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