JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - A local, non-profit coffee shop, Cup of Jobs, serves more than coffee and baked goods. It has an underlying mission to give an opportunity to the homeless community in Jacksonville Beach.
Cup of Jobs was created by faith-based organization, Lifework Leadership. Their mission is to transform leaders, transform cities, and transform the world.
In an effort to give an opportunity to people in the homeless community, they created this coffee shop as a volunteer-based program.
According to Changing Homelessness point-in-time county, nearly 1,500 sheltered and unsheltered people were reported in Duval County. Beaches Rescue Recovery Mission has created a rehabilitation program that provides shelter and tools to reenter society.
Cup of Jobs is a professionally-run coffee shop. However, it is completely run by volunteers, including those in a homeless recovery program. Everything in the store, from chairs to coffee, has been donated by local businesses and organizations.
“It starts with just coming in and sweeping the floor, doing the dishes, taking out the garbage,” Lifework Executive Director Tammie Mcclafferty said. “Then, the goal when they get to about 12 months through the program, we’re hoping that they’re good enough so can we start to employ them. So they will be our only employees.”
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Lifework has partnered with Beaches Rescue Recovery Mission for the volunteers. They also work with other local businesses who have agreed to hire them if they pass all of their training.
“It brings its own challenges, work ethics, fighting against full time schedules with our actual volunteers, burning them out,” Mcclafferty said. “They want to be here, but we’re burning them out.”
In the first month, Cup of Jobs has helped three women get back on their feet. They said they currently have about 15 volunteers.
“You get to meet all these people and if they see your work ethic that we learn here at Beaches Recovery Mission,” Shelby Marshall said. “They teach us and training us, and we are connecting with them on a core level.”
Mcclafferty said their goal is to create more coffee shop throughout Jacksonville. She said their volunteer services are open to local students looking for credit as well. Anyone interested can contact the store here.
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