On August 5th, 549 cafes, 42 coffee roasters and sponsors, and thousands of coffee drinkers took part in CafeSmart 2016 and helped raise $160,523 to fund local grassroots homeless projects. For every coffee sold, cafes donated $1, coffee roasters supplied beans and customers chipped in. An amazing effort and a record year.
100% of these funds have now been combined with substantial funds raised through our new StreetSmart Collective initiative and other one off gifts for a total of $223,000 distributed to support 118 community grants.
StreetSmart exists to help fund grassroots homeless services, providing vital funds to the front line of the fight against homelessness. So, it’s a great feeling when we get to distribute the funds we have raised with your support – this is what all the hard work is about – real impact on the ground. With Government funding in many areas being cut, especially in the emergency aid budget, these small grants become vital to the projects we fund.
Last week emails went out to 78 projects, across five States, all of which will be funded from the proceeds of DineSmart 2015 and our online fundraising.
Here is what some of the recipients said on hearing they would receive a small StreetSmart community grant…
Back in late 2014, after 18 months works, we launched our own crowdfunding platform, StreetSmart Projects. The concept was simple – to empower smaller grassroots homeless services to engage and connect with the StreetSmart supporter community to crowdfund important projects in the community. The pilot platform ran for 12 months raising over $35,000 for 10 projects. Organisations such as Dandelion Support Network, The Footpath Library, Safe Futures and Emerge Womens and Childrens Network all successfully used the platform and each of the 10 projects reached its funding goal. In a number of cases we raised considerably more than the $ target through donations direct to the organisation, in kind support and additional support.
In the mad rush that seems to characterise the build up to Christmas, 110 leading restaurants across five States went that little bit further and supported the annual DineSmart event. Now in its 13th year, restaurants ask their diners to chip in an extra $2 onto their bill to support smaller homeless services in the communities where the restaurants operate.
From 9th Nov to 31st Dec diners generously chipped in a massive $264,096 (up 12% on the 2014 tally). Every cent of the proceeds raised will now go to fund grassroots homeless services. Restaurants and their customers have now helped StreetSmart raise over $3.85 million funding over 450 community organisations. A good many of the participating restaurants increased their donation collection year on year – an awesome achievement.
Our 2016 DineSmart Top 15 Fundraisers… Read More
Sunday night saw the Front of House All Stars crew assemble at Ezard for the 10th All Stars Dinner, the 8th in Melbourne. We are so lucky to have the support of 8 multi Award winning restaurateurs and managers – the best in the business – supporting our work. 100% of the proceeds of the evening are donated by the All Stars to StreetSmart, an amazing commitment from all involved. This year we raised $32,522, just shy of our previous record. To know we have the support of leaders across the hospitality industry gives us such a boost and motivation to keep building our campaigns and community impact.
We welcomed back several tables of guests from previous years and to quote one guest “it was fantastic, we wouldn’t miss it” – and we second that.
The food and wine matches showcased by each All Star were sublime, giving a fascinating insight into their restaurants. Here’s the menu… Read More
DineSmart is all about dining out and chipping in. It brings together committed restaurant crews and committed diners, working together to help fund some of our smaller, local homeless services. Diners donating $2 per bill have helped StreetSmart raise $3.6 million to support 1147 projects Australia wide.
Last week I met up with Chin Chin Executive Chef Ben Cooper and Caroline and James from Youth Projects in Melbourne. Last year Chin Chin were our top national fundraiser and some of those funds raised went to support the crucial work of the team at Youth Projects in Hosier Lane. They are probably just 500 metres apart. They operate in the same neighbourhood. It’s a great example of how StreetSmart not only raises vital funds, but also helps connect communities and raises the profile of smaller services and the work they do….often unnoticed. This is what Caroline wrote when reporting back on last years grant….
“Youth Projects Ltd. were the successful grant recipients of a $5000 grant to supply 20 WINTER SURVIVAL KITS for clients who attend the Living Room Primary Care Clinic in Hosier Lane, Melbourne.
The kits contain essential items that people experiencing homelessness felt they would need to survive the harsh winter temperatures and conditions. The kits contained a swag, thermal beanie, scarf, socks, gloves, undergarments and sleeping bag. Research showed that these items were considered by clients to be the most important in staying warm during the night in winter.
This winter has been extremely cold with temperatures frequently reaching zero so the kits were distributed within a matter of weeks of us receiving them. You could say they were a life saver!
Obviously no one wants to see people without a roof over their heads, sleeping rough on the streets. It’s dangerous and harsh, but currently there are few housing options for people in crisis. These kits are a practical emergency response, bringing some comfort for those with no other alternative.
Jack and Alison were a couple who presented to the Living Room Clinic within the first week of us receiving the kits. They were newly homeless due to being harassed and threatened, and presented in a distressed state with no warm clothes, bedding, food or toiletries. After a brief assessment of their situation it was established that Jack and Alison were the perfect people for a winter survival kit. They left with a kit each and were comforted by the fact that they were going to be able to stay warm and protected from the winter weather. We were able to help the couple over a number of weeks, eventually helping them return to their housing once the perpetrator had been removed and the situation had been resolved.
A huge thanks to all the restaurants, their staff and customers who make these community grants possible. You are impacting many people’s lives in a very positive way.”
So, as we enter the final weeks of 2015 DineSmart campaign I wanted to thank everyone involved. That’s all the restaurateurs who gave the nod, the front of house managers and staff who run the campaign in venue and all the donors who chip in their $2’s. Last year over 100,000 tables did just that, and helped people like Jack and Alison who, in their time of crisis, turn to the small organisations we fund and find help from people like Caroline and James.
You can DineSmart until the 31st December at participating restaurants. Check the map here:
If you’re not dining out but support our work in the community you can donate here