A cup of coffee will soon mean a training and employment boost for young people experiencing homelessness, not just a morning pick me up, thanks to a funding shot from the Palaszczuk Government’s Dignity First Fund.

Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said Second Shot Espresso, established by James Christie and Mick Keelty AO, had been awarded $179,315 in round 2 of the $2.5 million fund which was established in 2016 to support projects that help people experiencing homelessness to live with dignity.

“Finding and keeping a job is part of becoming independent and self-sufficient, and it’s the foundation for securing and maintaining accommodation,” Mr de Brenni said.

“But finding a job is tough when you don’t have a stable home – it’s a catch 22.

“That’s what’s so great about Second Shot – by providing jobs and training young people to become baristas, young people who are experiencing homelessness can build up skills and work experience that support steady employment.

“Second Shot will also work with potential employers to secure permanent paid employment to staff after six months’ employment with Second Shot Espresso.

“It’s a fantastic initiative which could really change lives.”

Second Shot Espresso CEO James Christie said the charity has initially teamed up with a large local building company to operate close to their large building sites before expanding across greater Brisbane.

“We really appreciate the support provided by the State Government that has helped turned our vision into reality,” Mr Christie said.

“We have just started training our first group of young people, who are already demonstrating their passion and pride from being involved with Second Shot.

“We are aiming to be on the roads by early November and look forward to serving our first coffee and connecting with the community.”

Former AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty, who is a director of Board of Second Shot Pty Ltd said it is an opportunity for young people to reset their self worth in a constructive and positive environment.

“By investing in the project the government has helped us attract some high quality supporters such as Hutchinson Builders, Pauls Milk, BOQ and Westpoint VW.

“I am pleased to be a part of this creative idea of James Christie’s, and can already see the difference it’s making to the young people involved so far.

“It is both humbling and exciting to be with so many people who are not looking for handouts – just some dignity and responsibility that comes with a real job.”

Mr de Brenni said the partnership demonstrated the added value generated by collaboration between the business and charity sectors.

“Construction work is all about early morning starts, so I have no doubt Second Shot Espresso will do a roaring trade with their vans parked near building sites,” Mr de Brenni said.

Mr de Brenni said the Dignity First Fund was designed to encourage innovative, non-traditional ideas to help people experiencing homelessness through the hard times.

“The Fund has proven how much difference you can make with a good idea, a lot of heart and a little money,” Mr de Brenni said.

“The Dignity First Fund has already brought some fantastic ideas to life.

“Young people transitioning out of homelessness are learning how to drive, a mobile barbershop is providing haircuts on the street, and café style dining is serving up food along with employment and training opportunities.

“Whatever situation you’re in, you have the right to live with dignity, and Dignity First projects like Second Shot help deliver that.”

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Media contact: Cat Milton 0410 644 113

Image L-R: Mick de Brenni, Mick Keelty AO, James Christie

Minister and Second Shot Espresso founders