Life was on track for Grant Richards in 2010 until in a freak accident a stairwell collapsed underneath him leaving him incapacitated in hospital for 9 months and facing a huge pile of medical bills. Within a short space of time Grant found himself homeless and living on the street. His mental health had also deteriorated in coming to terms with living on the streets and no longer being the family breadwinner.
Grant started selling Big Issue magazines and gaining confidence in earning a living again. Regular customers would come and see him each morning and it was one of these regular customers that asked Grant to pass on some of her old clothes to a homeless woman. When Grant saw the homeless woman wearing the clothes he had the beginnings of an idea and started asking all of his regular customers for old clothes to donate to the Micah homeless shelter, within two weeks he ended up with two full vehicles. This little idea has grown and now clothes are handed out at a barbecue at Musgrave Park with over 400 people attending the first one.
Dalton Hospitality were one of the local organisations who are very generous in supporting these barbecues, providing all the food and drinks. Dalton Hospitality have now partnered with Grant to form the “Having a Go” Coffee Shops. “Having a Go” Coffee Shops employ homeless people, giving them training and support getting back on their feet. The first store has opened on Old Cleveland Road in Coorparoo and Grant and Dalton Hospitality aim to have 50 cafes similar to this all over Brisbane by July next year. 20 cents from every cup of coffee goes back to supporting the barbecues and expanding them across Brisbane.
In an interview with the Brisbane Times, Grant pointed out that the coffee shops “provide a half way point between people who want to help and the homeless. A lot of people want to help the homeless, they just don’t know how and a lot of homeless want help, they just don’t know how. So we’re bringing them together.”
You can read more about Grant and the Having A Go coffee shops at http://grantthepoliteguy.blogspot.com.au or find them on Facebook and if you pass the Having a Go maybe grab a coffee and support someone choosing to Be Very Awesome!