Seth and Kelly Kelley are heroes. They are also co-founders of RedTail Coffee in Fort Collins, Colorado.
When they decided to open their coffee shop they also decided to start a business that would make a difference rather than just profit. They did just that by staffing their coffee shop with the homeless.
After installing a staff made up primarily of the homeless, the coffee shop has partnered with the Fort Collins Housing Authority, Hand Up and the City of Fort Collins to provide job training, educational opportunities and careers to the local homeless community.
The homeless population in Fort Collins, like elsewhere in the country, is on the rise. The couple got the idea during a community meeting where some people expressed their fears and negative stereotypes over the new housing project being built for the homeless in the area.
“It challenges the idea that people who are homeless are lazy or just aren’t working hard enough,” says Seth Kelley.
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The project proves that good deeds pay off as well. In the few months since it opened, RedTail has already started showing a profit.
What’s more, they have customers who are not only satisfied but appreciative of their initiative.
Initiatives like the RedTail Coffee shop and people like the Kelleys are a hope that there are better things to come. They also break the stereotypes and the belief that if you are homeless, you are invisible, making them as normal as everyone else.