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Battleplans for 2018

16 Feb 2018 | control

We’re well into 2018 now and powering forwards with our mission to support the most disadvantaged members of our community.

This year we’re maintaining our tried and true programs we’ve been running for years such as the barista & hospitality training, acute crisis care and what we’re now calling TIP (the Transformative Intervention Program… which is working with the most disadvantaged members of the community suffering from chronic problems like addiction, crime, homelessness, crime, unemployability, etc).

Michael Seabrook has just started working with us full time this week.  Yesterday we submitted a grant application to get funds to purchase another cafe.  One of our BHAG’s (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is to open CFA2.  The Valley cafe is breaking even now and the only way to grow is to replicate.  It took a while to get settled after getting knocked around so intensely and unexpectedly last year.  The whole plan hasn’t changed much.

So what’s new.  I’ve been using my home for years now as a halfway house to help the guys we support.  I was hoping it would naturally outgrow this and develop.  We tried fundraising to help these guys but it seems people are reluctant to help men who are homeless/addicts/ex cons/etc.  I still think this is the most important thing we do.  It’s the most expensive cost to the government, it’s the most emotionally costly to the victims in our community, not many organisations want to tackle this and it’s something we’re good at.  Just we’ve got no money to do it…

The only way this can work sustainably long term is if we get a house.  Liberty Home.  Somewhere safe in a good community but strategically positioned.  I’ve discussed the idea with the police and it’d be necessary to work closely with them.  You’ve all heard me talk about for years how important relationships are and the idea of the “sevens” program.  Environment is such a massive factor for successful transformation.  You can introduce an addict to 7 healthy members of the community but if he’s going back to sleep at a crack house it’s just too easy to relapse.  It’s ended up just being a whole lot of work for me to manage it all-with little cash and support.

Moving forwards the most important factor to make this all work and facilitate all this is to employ a really skilled “community chaplain”.  Which is the same as our plan has been for years now.  To provide 7 day support (which is what is necessary) it is $87,442.44 p.a.  This gets us 1 full time worker and another part time worker.  The house itself is not expensive.  Last year to support one of the guys we registered with Centrelink so rent assistance could be paid straight to us for his housing.  We didn’t end up using it but it’s in place and an easy process.  It’d only cost about $10k per annum to cover the deficit.  We could possibly get 1 to 3 guys in one house at a time… maybe.  It would really depend on the individuals, their personalities and how far along they’ve developed and learned to manage their behaviours.  There’ll be a shortfall we’d need to cover.

This strategy is a proven, long game, comprehensive, sure fire way of seeing lives transformed.  With the home, the support workers and miscellaneous costs e.g. job training etc it’s $100k p.a.  We know we can do this because we’ve been doing it for years now.  We just need to source the funding somehow.  We really need corporate sponsorship to make this work.  If you or your company wants to contribute towards this specifically please get in touch.

I’ve stopped doing most of the direct support work personally and I’m not using my home as a halfway house anymore.  I’m going to personally continue working with only one of the ex drug dealers in the community.  Many of you would have heard Chris’ story of transformation.  We speak regularly all over Brisbane to share his story and he always gets the crowd crying.  Chris is a long way through his journey and on several levels I believe it’s important to continue to empower him.  I believe his life and story will help tens of thousands and so it’s worth every hour of my investment into him.

We’ve decided to pursue some traditional strategies to support our community.  Last December we announced the birth of Liberty Enterprises.  We are in the middle of transferring the charitable organisation over to that entity name and Cup From Above Cafe will be a social enterprise program of Liberty Enterprises Australia Limited.  In the next 90 days we plan to launch “Liberty Community Care” which, among other things, will be providing support for people with a disability.  We believe we can provide some exceptional community access support by linking in with our existing programs such as feeding the chickens with our Liberty Farm project or baking muffins at the cafe etc.  I’ve been working with people with a disability since 2002.  I personally love the work and this field but more than that I think as an organisation we can offer something really fresh, innovative in a really diverse but warm and friendly environment.  It’s a win for everyone.  So we’re going to pursue this.

More than that we’re looking at several fee for service options to link in with other organisations.  Whereby another organisation with funding for clients could pay our organisation to use the cafe/s, or provide a tailored coffee course for clients with complex needs.

That’s it for 2018.  If you want more details on any of this we have a 22 page 6310 word Strategic Plan to cover the next 10 years with all the details!  I’ll be putting that up on the website soon too.

For 5 and a half years we’ve been totally reliant on our members, a couple of businesses and some small churches throwing us a bit of cash here and there.  It’s simply miraculous we’ve lasted this long with no real core funding.  I can’t find the words to say how appreciative I am for all of our members and your continued support through all the difficulties we’ve been through.  The consistent heartbeat of your generosity and faith in our mission has sustained us the darkest seasons.  Thank you.

Writing this I was thinking about the first time I heard the name Cup From Above and it’s allusion to a brew that tasted heavenly.  I liked because it was quirky and catchy enough to simply be about great coffee.  But I also liked that it held within it a mystery.  Probably only someone like me would think of it.  But to the me the name also begged the question what does a cafe from above look like and what would it serve?  I’m curious to see how far this question will take us this year in 2018 and for the decade ahead.

Thanks for journeying with us another year.  Love you all.

-Adam


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