Where to get a free coffee in Perth

Stock image.
Stock image.

A NEW café which employs homeless people in Perth is set to celebrate its official opening by giving away free coffee.

Ground+Co will be giving away 500 free coffees from 7am on Friday.

The micro-café above Elizabeth Quay train station is the first homelessness employment initiative by The Underground Collaborative, a business providing employment and housing solutions to disadvantaged people.

Ground+Co trains and employs women who have or are experiencing homelessness as a result of family and domestic violence, which is the leading cause of homelessness for women in Australia.

The Underground Collaborative founder Katie Liew said Ground+Co is like an intermediary between women moving from homelessness into long-term employment and stable housing.

Ground+Co will be giving away 500 free coffees from 7am to celebrate the store’s official opening. Picture: Supplied

“I just wanted to do something to focus on long-term solutions that ended homelessness, as opposed to the band aid socks and handbags that I think can sometimes be more detrimental to people experiencing homelessness,” she said.

The 2016 Census estimated 116,000 people in Australia were homeless, coinciding with a 2016 study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare that found homelessness caused by domestic violence is closely tied to a victim’s financial independence.

Ms Liew said she believed a project like Ground+Co was necessary because employment played such a large role in someone’s independence and general mental health and wellbeing.

The café currently has three women employed in partnership with Zonta House who will go through a six-month program.

Ground+Co is the first homelessness employment initiative by The Underground Collaborative. Picture: Stock image

Ms Liew said people who enjoyed the hospitality at Ground+Co made a real and tangible difference.

“I think even though it might only seem like a cafe or only small, we’re really helping them get back into society and be part of community again,” she added.

Ms Liew hopes Ground+Co will provide an opportunity to help get people back on their feet.

“When people choose to buy a coffee from us they’re having a conversation with these employees and it helps them build their confidence. It’d be really great to have continued support,” she said.

For more information visit theunderground.org.au.