The Purple Door: the cafe that offers work to the homeless (VIDEO)

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Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcía

A coffee to have (and give) a second chance. The Purple Door in Denver employs young people between the ages of 15 and 24 who have lived on the street and been homeless

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A coffee to have (and give) a second chance. To the The Purple Door in Denver you can drink a good coffee and eat fresh croissants, like in any other coffee shop. But this is not just any shop. Owners Madison Chandler and Mark Smesrud are truly different from the others.

Because they co-founded a non-profit organization that employs young people between the ages of 15 and 24 who have lived on the street and been homeless, to help them leave that life behind. The store offers a 52-week work package, in which new employees are provided with practical skills - such as checkout management and reporting - as well as the right know-how to improve their physical, emotional and mental health.

"We believe that every human being has an incredible value, explains Smesrud, program director, in a video on the store's website. "We must not evaluate them by their successes or their failures, but by the fact that they are human."

The Purple Door Caffè opened nearly two years ago and has been taking it ever since teenagers and young adults in groups of three at a time and provides them with a job for a year. A coffee shop was the perfect catalyst for realizing the idea, as it allows employees to learn many skills - such as customer service and housekeeping - and provides an open space forintegration with the community.

The name of the shop has a symbolic meaning: purple is historically the color that represents royalty. Thus, every single person who walks through the door, whether it be an employee, a customer or a supplier, will know that you will be treated like a king and he will be given an opportunity, regardless of what he has done in life.



Roberta Ragni


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