Creating Pathways Out of Homelessness & Providing For The Socially Conscious Foodie

Fighting youth homelessness since 2014, Society Melbourne has set up four venues across Melbourne, Crêpes for Change, The Coffee Cart, Home.one and Home.two, where their employment opportunities have helped multiple young people escape the cycle of homelessness.


(Photography: Society Melbourne)


Starting from a simple idea, a group of young people wanted to make a positive change in Melbourne. Tenille Gilbert, Levi Fernandez and Daniel Poole co-founded Society Melbourne, with the belief of creating sustainable social change. Crêpes for Change was a crowdfunded project that grew into the successful beginning of Society Melbourne.


“We've got space and a location volunteer-run donating 100% of profits,” Tenille explained. The trio’s entrepreneurial spirit developed along the way, realising the need to sell more of the crêpes and coffees. The more sold, the bigger the impact that they could have.


(Photography: Society Melbourne)


From this, The Coffee Cart was then crowdfunded and launched into their second successful enterprise. Home.one and Home.two shortly followed, establishing Society Melbourne as a force in the Melbourne hospitality scene, whilst not losing touch with their original goals of combating youth homelessness.


Through their programs, they aim to empower and equip young people experiencing homelessness with pathways to success. Following a five-step program that sees young people find work through Society Melbourne, before moving onto receiving further education and work, thus far 70% of those who participate in the program have graduated, whilst 100% who graduate are able to find further education and work.


The impact of Society Melbourne's programs has been life-changing for some Victorian youth who have experienced homelessness. Ralph, who migrated to Melbourne from the Philippines, struggled with identity before entering the program 18 months ago, with little experience in the workforce. After six months of dedicating himself to the program and building his confidence, he went on to graduate from Society Melbourne before completing his Diploma in Community Services. An enormous success story stemming from a fantastic program.


(Photography: Society Melbourne)


In the times of COVID, Society Melbourne still doesn't forget their cause. Providing emergency relief meals through SmartMeals (run by StreetSmart) and still running the programs to eliminate youth homelessness. When discussing the impact of the program on graduates, Tenille beamingly called a particular case of one of the graduates who’s completing an internship at Brothership at St Laurence a “huge success story,” owing to her passion for Society Melbourne and its impact on the community.


As hospitality slowly opens more in the coming weeks, there are plenty of ways to continue to support Society Melbourne and their amazing work. Home.one expanded their outdoor dining, while also launching their online store which sells delicious hampers for all your picnic needs. Melbourne Community Goods is the place for all your gifting needs, showcasing products from a range of Melbourne social enterprises just in time for Christmas. Crêpes for Change’s food truck has just reopened, so keep an eye out on their socials.


https://society.melbourne


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