Environment and Sustainability, light rail, Social Governance, Workforce

Yarra Trams serve coffee for a cause

For Change Co has partnered with Yarra Trams to open a new social enterprise cafe aimed at tackling youth homelessness in Melbourne’s Bayside.

For Change Co is a social enterprise that runs a hospitality training program to provide pathways out of homelessness for young people. The café and training space are in Middle Park, which opened last week after months of construction and work fitting out the space.

Every night in Australia, 28,000 young people are experiencing homelessness. For Change Co set out to eliminate youth homelessness by providing opportunities for young people to thrive through the power of social enterprise. So far, it has generated over $2.8 million in revenue, employing and supporting 48 young people to escape the homelessness cycle, for good and 100 per cent of profits reinvested into the program.

The new venue will mean a 30 per cent increase in the number of young people enrolled in its home.plate training program, which has a 100 per cent success rate with all graduates going on to further education or employment.

The café, located in the historic light rail station building adjacent to the Middle Park tram platform (served by Route 96), will allow Middle Park residents to be a part of the change in
tackling youth homelessness together. The building is being provided to For Change Co by Yarra Trams for a peppercorn annual rent.

For Change Co managing director Tenille Gilbert said the new cafe in Middle Park allowed support for more young people who are at risk of or who have experienced homelessness in the South, as well as provided the local community with an opportunity to engage in social change every day, simply through purchasing a coffee.

Local Member of Parliament and Minister for Health Martin Foley said the new Tram Stop Café combined two Melbourne favourites – iconic trams and love for coffee – while supporting young people to break the cycle of homelessness.