Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Opportunity Knocks for Homeless Youth Employment at Purple Door Coffee

Over a year ago, Madison Chandler and Mark Smesrud joined the Belay Enterprises' team to start Purple Door Coffee to employ formerly homeless young adults.

Today, they are about to explode in excitement as Purple Door is weeks away from opening its 30th and Welton location in Five Points. Stay tuned as we announce some grand opening events in April.

This has been quite the journey of God's faithfulness and provision with over $100,000 in start-up funding generously provided by donors in response to Mark and Madison's dream. Without a doubt, God passionately loves homeless kids and is providing resources for unique organizations mirroring that love.

I am also excited because the commencement of this project bring to fruition our vision of partnering with other organizations to create jobs for people rebuilding lives. A few years ago, we became convinced that the only way to meet the incredible needs for transitional jobs was by changing our approach from focusing on our own projects to partnering with other organizations and Christ-following entrepreneurs. In Purple Door's case, we launched this innovative business by joining forces with Madison, Mark and a local homeless outreach ministry, Dry Bones Denver, the inspiration for the project. 

We continue to be convinced that there are individuals in the church who are better at creating businesses to employ people rebuilding lives than us. Belay wants to encourage creative partnerships that advance our job creation goals. We continue to be on the lookout for future partnerships.

Some other exciting developments around Belay:

  • Last year, Belay's faith-based employment training start-up businesses employed 80 individuals rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness and prison. With studies showing that a job is the number one indicator whether someone will avoid returning to prison, these jobs create value for our community through changed lives. 
  • We moved our semi-custom cabinet employment training program for  ex-offenders, New Beginnings Custom Woodworks, into the space alongside Bud's Warehouse that formerly housed our Good Neighbor Garage start-up. We are now able to build a line of semi-custom cabinets on-site for Bud's customers, enabling us to expand jobs and training opportunities for ex-offenders.
  • We continue to work with a local mattress recycling project that employs people rebuilding lives from the Denver Rescue Mission and other projects. People pay a recycling fee when dropping them off at Bud's Warehouse and then the mattresses are torn-apart with the polyurethane and metals recycled for other purposes. 
  • Bud's Warehouse has enjoyed a fantastic winter of sales, the best in years for traditionally slow months. This income enables us to grow more jobs for people rebuilding lives as well as starting other new ventures like New Beginnings and Purple Door. Bud's does have the need for the donation of a used forklift to help us continue to expand.
 As always, we are very thankful for the support from the community as we work to change lives in Denver. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in learning more. And if you would like to partner with us by supporting new faith venture start-ups with a tax-deductible donation, visit our online donation page here.

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