A new coffee brand, styled on the The Big Issue magazine, is set to help once homeless people get started on a new career.
Change Please coffee will employ baristas getting back on their feet after being homeless.
They will be paid London living wage, allowing them to develop the skills and experience needed to enter the mainstream workforce after six months.
To begin with, about six staff will be brewing up and serving the £2.50 cups of coffee. This should rise to about 12 staff during the month, the Press Association reports.
The coffee is now being sold from eight coffee carts dotted around several London hotspots, such as Covent Garden and Borough, before being rolled out across the capital over the coming month.
At the end of the six months, Change Please will be working with firms from the food and beverage, legal and banking sectors to try to find permanent work for the baristas.
It hopes the coffee carts will become as familiar a street feature as The Big Issue sellers.
Cemal Ezel, co-founder of Old Spike Roastery (OSR), which is providing coffee for the scheme, described the initiative as a "win win" situation.
The former City trader said: "We promise one of the best cups of coffee you'll find, but even better, we guarantee that this programme will make a significant contribution to helping alleviate the homeless problem across the country – if we can get a small proportion of coffee drinkers to simply change where they buy their coffee, we really could change the world.”
Peter Bird, of The Big Issue, said that the scheme would help to fill a gap for people working their way out of homelessness.
He said: "Selling the Big Issue works well to provide people currently living on the streets with a way to help themselves work towards a better life, but there is a gap between that segment of homelessness and securing a regular job that needed a solution.
“Change Please provides that and will hopefully be the hand up that people need to work their way back in to society."Suggest a correction