Update on Cup From Above June 2017
Cup From Above has been Resurrected!
After a short homeless hiatus Cup From Above v2.0 will continue to serve the finest coffee from 6am Monday, 5th June!
There’s been a few changes but the core of our mission is still the same. We’ll be selling great coffee to make cash and use that cash to help people in need. We’ll be training people up how to become great baristas and help them find work, we’ll be helping people in emergency crisis situations, and we’ll be journeying with some of the most disadvantaged members of our community for the long haul to see them flourishing.
We’d like to say a huge thankyou to Trent Meade and the team at Revelry Entertainment who own and run the popular Valley club called “The GPO”. Named because it used to be the Post Office many years ago. They have warmly welcomed us into their great venue placed in the heart of Fortitude Valley.
The word fortitude means “courage through adversity” so Fortitude Valley kinda means “courage through valley”. Which seems to suit us well. Unfortunately there is no parking at the new site. For a detailed map showing exactly where we are and the best places to park in the Valley please visit the map on our website here.
We took a short break from making coffee which gave us the opportunity to increase our efforts on our charitable objectives.
We now have 3x “Sevens” champion peer support groups helping some of the most disadvantaged members of our community.
Australia’s greatest social crisis right now is probably the pandemic of Crystal Meth addiction. The answer is complex and we are focussing and refining our strategies around targeting the very core of this issue.
The effects of addiction are simply devastating but there is nothing more precious and beautiful than seeing someone crippled with addiction reconciled with their partners and children. The text message saying thank you on their first day back at work. Dropping them off at home after feeding them when they were living on the streets. That’s why we do this.
THE YEAR AHEAD:
Our aim is still to raise $87,500 so that we can provide 60 hours per week of continuous support to see the most difficult members of our community and see them liberated from the vice of addiction and the horrific behaviour that comes with it. We need a full time professional and a part time support worker to manage the “Sevens” peer support groups. We’ve found this to be the most thorough, inexpensive, authentic strategy to see people restored. We need your support to continue this vital work. You can donate $30 per week which guarantees 1 hour paid work towards helping (currently sitting at 14.5 hours pledged). It’s the end of the financial year so if you would like to make a one off donation towards this goal it would hugely appreciated.
We’ve teamed up with Nat Carse from Village Church and Chris Rahilly from Northside Yard and Garden Maintenance to trial a lawn mowing program to champion some blokes in our community who need some work to get back on track.
The best way you can support this for now is by calling Chris on 0404 479 585 if you need any yard work done.
Thanks to all the original members who have recently purchased their annual renewal and we’d like to welcome on board all the new members.
It’s thanks to your consistent support that has enables us to help transform lives.
We currently have 301 members. You can sign up in store from Monday or via the link here.
Charity HQ Search Continues…
We are continuing to search for a premises to officially base the charity out of in or near Aspley. It could potentially be anywhere on the Northside of Brisbane but it seems right to stay here. The charity house, formerly located behind the old cafe is still being used to store furniture for people in crisis, our administration work is being done from there. More than that we have continued supporting people from the house every day. In the last month we’ve had 3 men in various extreme crisis situations stay at the charity house. This is a vital need we must find a long term solution for.
5th Birthday & Opening Celebration
It’s hard to believe that the 18th June 2017 will be our 5th Birthday. We’ll be unexpectedly celebrating this one in our new venue which seems fitting to make this the official opening ceremony. Details on facebook here. This event is for members only.
CEO Adam James & Chris Rahilly were honoured to speak with some of the great young men and women at Deception Bay High. It’s so important to encourage, educate and motivate the vulnerable younger members of our community.Read More
Times They Are A-changin
It’s my deepest regret to let you all know that after nearly 5 years our cafe here in Aspley is closing down. We had intended to stay here for at least the next 6 years especially after investing in building our kitchen at the end of last year. The landlords have been pretty nasty about it. However I believe it’s right for us to move forwards with an improved mission and strategic plan.
I can’t describe how much it hurt when I found out a couple of weeks ago. So much of my life has been invested into this site. I have to admit I considered that this might be the end of the road for us. But then I was reminded of something. I sat out the back in the garden area and reflected over our journey together. I can remember placing every stone in the wall and the person who helped build it with me and the conversations that brought a bit of healing. One stone I remember talking with a man who’d just got out of prison after 10 years and couldn’t resolve forgiving himself for what he did. By the end of that day building that bit of the wall with me Jason finally received forgiveness for the first time in his life and was ready to move forwards with his life. Every paver, every garden, every painted picture has a story here. What I was reminded of is that even on those long days when we were building this place we never thought we were building a great cafe. We were repairing relationships. We were building men. On a spiritual level I think Cup From Above is more than a cafe. I believe it’s an orphanage. It’s been a home for the lost and who just needed somewhere safe to escape to and be comforted, restored, encouraged, redirected, educated and loved. This chapter, at this geographical, site has come to an end but WE WILL CONTINUE WITH THIS MISSION. We’re losing this building but we’re taking the wisdom we’ve learnt together with us.
From the first day of opening Cup From Above I literally asked myself what would a cafe in heaven look like? That’s been my overarching motivation and philosophy for everything we’ve ever done here. This is how it played out in my mind… In heaven there’s no such thing as a disability. I reckon everyone is able enough to achieve their purpose in life. So we trained people with disabilities as best as they were capable how to make heavenly coffee and get them authentic jobs. In heaven people don’t go hungry. So we fed everyone who came in who was hungry. In heaven everyone is loved and valued. So we gave everyone who couldn’t afford a coffee one for free and spent time with them. In heaven there’s no crime. So we taught criminals their true worth, restored them and empowered them with valuable employable skills. In heaven fathers don’t die of heart disease when their kids are young. So we started a garden to grow nutritious food and cook it up tasty and give it to the sick, poor & homeless. In heaven no one is lonely from mental health problems. So we built interconnected life affirming relationships around those who were struggling with poor mental health.
Even though this place has been largely inspired and driven by my christian faith I never wanted this to be just another ‘church cafe’. I’ve purposed to keep it a truly diverse community cafe for everyone in this geographical community and we’ve deliberately embraced satanists, atheists, agnostics and buddhists as equal members here. We’ve connected with both sides and every level of politics to collectively work together to help those in most need in our community. All this has been complex at times. But diversity is beautiful, it’s real and it’s right. We’re better together.
I’m proud to say we’ve nearly completed our new 10 year strategic plan and God it’s beautiful. It makes so much more sense. It’ll be formally released in the next couple of weeks. To give you a snapshot for now we’re calling it Operation: Robin Hood. The main issue here at Aspley has been having dangerous people receiving therapeutic support while trying to run a profitable cafe. It just doesn’t work. In the 60 months of being here only 1 of them was commercially profitable. 59 months we LOST money. It’s okay because we used the cafe to help people and the cost to benefit ratio was definitely worthwhile when you look at the incredible outcomes we were able to achieve by doing this. However this is not sustainable, safe, nor is it the optimal way to execute our mission. I’ve built a great new team to guide us and our plan is to find a new cafe site in an affluent area of Brisbane. Run it as a great profitable hospitality business, have only one “hospitality intern” at a time, and use the profits to help those who are really struggling. “Take from the rich and give to the poor”. We did a thorough analysis of what we’ve done well and what we’ve done really bad over the last 5 years. We’re good at chronic support. We good at taking someone who is using hard drugs, engaging in criminal activity, in and out of prison, homelessness and broken relationships, who is ready for change and lead and guide them through to sobriety, empower them with employable skills and a real career, encouraging them and championing them, teaching them interpersonal skills so they can restore broken relationships and build new healthy ones and not just get housing but a home to build a life in. We’ve done this well and we’ll keep doing this for Brisbane’s forgotten and downtrodden. We’ll keep dropping off hampers and healthy nutritious food to pregnant women facing homelessness and single dads who are struggling to make ends meet. We’re good at this. We’re gonna continue training people with barriers to employment how to make great coffee and help them secure jobs. We’re good at this. We love coffee and people. We’ve got a temporary solution to continue doing this uninterrupted while we don’t have a cafe.
Our charitable support will actually increase after the closure of our Aspley cafe. This is a crazy paradox but it’s true. But right now it actually costs money to have the cafe and it takes up sooooo much time. It just means until we reopen a new profitable cafe there won’t be an easy way to engage with us like there has been at the cafe. We’ll keep posting up about the great stories of supporting people online (that we’re only able to do because you support us). The charity will continue to run from our office in Aspley 6 days a week. The new cafe will be geographically separate from most of our charitable activities. Therefore we won’t have any of the danger concerns of being a pseudo drop in centre. People won’t be able to access help via the cafe directly.
We’re looking for a new cafe site. We’re going to take our time to carefully assess the next pilot site. If you know of a potentially great site please email it through to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have formed a committee of highly successful people in the hospitality industry to thoroughly assess the new site(s) to ensure financial viability and ongoing success.
We will need to fundraise to open the new cafe. Fortunately we get to keep all the equipment we purchased from our fundraising efforts only 6 months ago. It’s unlikely to fit in the new site so we’ll have to sell some equipment and buy some new items. There’s a lot of other setup costs. I estimate we will need at least $20,000 for the new site. If you would like to donate towards this it would be greatly appreciated. You can via the link here. If it’s specifically for this new venture please use the description “NEWCFACAFE” so we know to allocate it towards this specifically.
We’ll be holding a little “farewell funeral & wake” at the cafe. Date TBA but we’ll announce it soon. The current plan is to close the doors on Saturday, 29th April. So many lives have been touched here and we wanted some way to commemorate the journey. We have this beautiful orange journal (donated by our lovely new neighbours Bookbinders). Please come in and leave a message sharing your greatest memory here at Cup From Above Aspley. If we’ve contributed to your life and journey we’d love it if you shared that in the book.
I am so honoured to have journeyed with you all here. I have so many great new friendships that have been forged and old ones bolstered on this 5 year adventure. You have all taught me so much and I’m so grateful to everyone who has donated time, money, blood, sweat or tears to this cause. I love this community of Aspley. Rich even with all it’s blemishes and colour. I didn’t actually think any of this would actually be possible, 6 years ago it was merely a dubious dream, but you’ve all proven to me over these years that the impossible is possible. I plan to take this ‘hope against hope’ you’ve demonstrated me on to the next phase of our journey.
Thank you everyone, love you all.
Supporting Belinda & Clint
Belinda & Clint’s home burnt down here in Aspley last night. They lost a lot of their personal belongings. Worst of all they lost their family pets. They are okay, no people were physically injured apart from a bit of smoke inhalation and the shock of losing their home.
We’re doing a collection to help them get back on track. If you would like to donate towards helping them you can wire it through to…
Name: Cup Aspley Limited
Please use the transaction description: home4bnc
They’re gonna need some furniture which we have some stuff in storage to donate. The biggest problem right now is somewhere to live. If someone knows of a temporary living situation for them that would be great. Be good to have a few options. Please email email@example.com.
Either way they’re gonna need help with moving house and purchasing items. It’d be great if we could get together at least $2000 to make this easy for them to move house and get them set up in their new home.Read More
The Northside Chronicle Champions Tucker Tokens!
Huge thanks to Andrea MacLeod for doing a story on our Tucker Token idea so we can spread the love outside of Cup From Above.
All you need to do is ask your local cafe if they do Tucker Tokens and offer to buy one for someone in need for them to give away. Thanks for helping people less fortunate than yourself.
Here’s the article…
Night 1 of Street Week
I thought it was a car with a near flat battery with a frustrated driver going sick at the key draining the last remaining power… but it wasn’t. It was a flock of Ibises (Ibides?) getting it on just along the creek bed we were sleeping in. The only interruption is coming from tyres rolling on the bridge overhead. It’s still winter time but the mosquitos are relentlessly marching towards our ears.
We had one bloke walk past us before. He assumed we were homeless and said some pathetic good luck sentiment… then he saw me writing this post on my macbook pro. He seemed to deduce we weren’t voluntarily homeless and asked what we were fundraising for. I told him we were raising awareness for homelessness in Brisbane. He seemed even more confused… then walked away.
I’m lying under this bridge thinking about it. I’m really hungry. I’m not doing this to raise awareness. I’m doing this to provoke change.
I’m hoping that by doing this and by sharing these stories people will be motivated to DO something. Anything. There are hundreds of charities and churches desperate for fresh volunteers motivated to make real changes.
I couldn’t care less if you become more aware of homelessness. That would cheapen what we’re doing. I don’t want this to be charity porn. Something you can watch from the safety and comfort of your home and not cost you anything.
But chances are if you’re still reading this that you actually do want to contribute something meaningful. Let me tell you that the world is hurting and groaning in agony waiting for you to do your part to help. You don’t need to be good at helping to help. You can cook sausages at a bbq. You can pack hampers and deliver them. It will cost you. There is a sacrifice needed to make a real difference. The question is are you willing to give up watching one night of Master Chef to see someone’s life turned around? That might be all it takes…
Follow us social media on the hashtag #STREETWEEK15
Community, Coffee, Terrorists and Peace on Earth
This week the nation stopped to watch a man take hostage of some Australians buying coffee from a cafe in Sydney. This man believed that his life and the lives of others were a worthwhile payment for some advertising for his beliefs. It didn’t really work because his website and facebook page have since been taken down… all that remains are 140 character sermons on his Twitter account.
He was a self appointed Islamic Sheikh who saw himself as a kind of freedom fighter against the United States government and her allies. Only a few days ago he posted…
Islam is the religion of peace, that’s why Muslims fight against the terrorism of America and its allies… http://t.co/t7e7stFL5W
— Sheikh Haron (@Sheikh_Haron) December 6, 2014
People cannot have a peaceful society if they don’t fight against crime. The police officers who fight with… http://t.co/Zh4lDl7Z7V
— Sheikh Haron (@Sheikh_Haron) December 7, 2014
The same night the #SydneySiege was going down we had yet another break in attempt at Cup From Above. Thank God this one was unsuccessful.
Cup From Above is a Community Cafe. Our mission is to “Love & Connect Our Community” and today, the 18th December, we have now been open two and a half years. What a journey. And today, just like everyday, we helped several people at the cafe who are struggling with addiction, homelessness and mental illness.
The word community is derived from a latin word munio which means to build up, to fortify and to strengthen. That’s what we’re trying to do at Cup From Above: we’re a community cafe. As a community we work together to build each other up because together we’re stronger and life is just better lived together.
We have 73 volunteers in total now. A lot of the crew here are christians. There’s been 14 different christian denominations represented. I’m a christian myself but I’ve fought hard to avoid the cafe becoming a “christian cafe”. A bunch of our valued team members are atheists and agnostics. We’ve proudly showcased art on our walls by muslim Afghani refugees. We even had a satanist here for a while! Now I vehemently disagree with satanism but that doesn’t mean that individual is not an equal valued member of our community. The satanist is welcome just the same as the Jehovah’s Witness, the muslim, the post modern secular humanist or the local southern cross tattoo’d bogan who doesn’t know what the bloody hell he is. We’re Aussie’s who live in Aspley, love coffee and working with each other to help out people in need and because of that we’re all built up, fortified and strengthened.
You see when a community was being attacked they would come together to fortify (munio) and build a wall around the village so they were safe. Safe from wild animals or marauders that might attack and steal from them. It was something the community came together to build to DEFEND themselves. There’s another english word that was also derived from the latin word munio: ammunition.
For me-as a Jesus follower-I believe in being an ambassador of peace. Ironically according to twitter so did Man Horan Monis! This is exactly what he claimed he was doing. Yet he took ammunition, put it in a gun and killed innocent people to bring about peace by exposing the U.S. Government (for taking ammunition, putting it in a gun, and sending it over with soldiers to kill innocent people).
I think it’s difficult to make peace with ammunition. I believe the best way to make peace is with community. As a community it’s healthy to build a defence against wild animals like Man Horan Monis. I think it’s fair game that the police have guns and the best training possible so they hopefully never have to use them but can if necessary.
Yes I believe in justice. Yes there should be consequences to actions. I believe in healthy confrontation and tough love. So much so that a few of my team members think I’m too harsh some times. But it’s not punishment that brings about peace. It’s grace.
If we really want to bring about peace we have to learn to live in a real community with people who we disagree with and don’t like. This means you are forced to get over your pride in some false sense of superiority. This disease of pride infects both the poor and rich, black and white, old and young, religious and non. The cure is a heavy regular dose of loving your community. If you’re not doing anything for your community… you’re probably infected.
If anyone was justified in wanting revenge it would be the father of Tori Johnson who was murdered on Monday. I publicly applaud his statement “I want to demonstrate that there can be peace in the world. My son has paved the way for that and I want to make sure I continue it” (article here).
Not only hasn’t there been a backlash in response to mentally ill people or muslims… Australians are proactively ensuring that they continue to feel safe and valued in the community with the campaign #illridewithyou.
It’s very likely that the people who have robbed us and tried to rob us again were the same people we gave free food to today on our two and a half year anniversary. It’s so frustrating. But nothing compared to what’s just happened in Sydney. I also believe in “blessing those who persecute you”. I believe in “turning the other cheek”. And I just hope and pray that tomorrow is the day they turn their life around. Who knows… maybe they are another future Man Horan Monis and because I showed them unnecessary grace it stops them from becoming a peace-destroying murderer.
Tomorrow is our last day for this year. Thank you all for working alongside us to help build a great community here in Aspley.
We look forward to even greater things in 2015. Have a merry Christmas.
QUT Staff Community Welfare Fund
Cup From Above was honoured to receive a grant from the QUT Staff Community Welfare Fund!
With the funds we were able to purchase pavers to pave the area leading up to the graffiti wall, the toilet and “Grandpa’s Garden”. Previously it was just a pile of rocks and very difficult for anyone with a disability to access.
For two and a half years we had to boil the kettle to get hot water to mop the floors! Not any more. Sean Taylor from Taylor’d Plumbing Works installed a brand new 120L hot water system and laid new water pipes which had been damaged. He did a fantastic job so if you need a plumber he’s your man!
We’d like to say a massive thank you to the great people from QUT who believe in supporting their community so much that they’d contribute and sacrifice their hard earned dollars to help make Aspley a greater place to live! Thank you.
November Community Concert (the final one for 2014)
– Nick Gavegan
– Bryce Harper
We will also have the very talented Jo Morris exhibiting her artwork, as well as ‘Burbs’ and the crew doing up some graffiti on the night.
Grandpa’s Garden Fundraiser
This month we’re starting the long awaited project! We’re focussing our fundraising which you can contribute to online here, in store or at the Community Concert at the end of the month.
Click on this link to contribute: http://gogetfunding.com/project/grandpas-garden
Cup From Above is a community cafe that makes great coffee and exists to love and connect our community. We help many people every day through several grass roots programs we’ve designed to alleviate poverty and build a healthy community. We have many people in need in our community who are homeless, suffering from extreme poverty and have had prolonged unemployment. They have nothing to do with their time and they have little money to purchase healthy food. In a recent meeting with the government it was suggested we start a community garden that will enable them to work together to grow healthy, nutritious produce which will be cooked up in the “Grandma’s Kitchen” project. We currently give away food through our “tucker token” program which was the first step. The old proverb says, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” We believe in empowering people with skills that will restore them to live interdependently in our community.
Ashley Tait is coordinating the construction of the area out the back. We are paving the area between the Graffiti Wall and the new garden bed and also creating partial covering between the garden and the wall. This way you will be able to sit out there and drink a delicious cup of coffee along the graffiti wall and have some shade from the scorching sun through the summer months.
Here is a break down of the costs…Arbors (for shade).
Approximately 5×3 pallet wide and 2x 2 pallet wide $635 not including concrete or plants
- Rock walls for garden: $220.
- Basket wall out of fencing is $120.
- Road base and sand for paving $310.
- Compost $440
- Cement and blend for posts and steps $120
- Labour $275
We have been functioning as a community cafe since June 2012. We started offering suspended coffees in April 2013 which been the vehicle to connect us with people in need in our community. ABC Radio National covered a story on us doing suspended coffees which you can check out here http://cupfromabove.com.au/tag/abc-radio-national/. On the 1 year anniversary we began giving away “Tucker Tokens”. This enabled people in our community to purchase food one meal at a time for people who are struggling. This was important to get food into someone’s belly in a crisis but it wasn’t solving the problem….
So we set up “Grandma’s Kitchen” to teach people how to cook cheap and healthy nutritious food. This has proved to be an invaluable way to connect the community and actually solve the problem of a lack of food right at the source of the problem. There are many potential obstacles for this project. We will have a team of people working together to maintain the garden who will likely be suffering from mental illness and possibly anti-social behaviour. Our chaplains will work alongside these people and as a community we will need to manage it together. It is only through working on a simple task, such as gardening, that people with complex issues are able to overcome and grow stronger.
We really appreciate your support. We couldn’t do this without you! 🙂
Click on this link to contribute: http://gogetfunding.com/project/grandpas-gardenRead More
Ash Kong in the Chronicle
This month the Cup From Above Community has been getting behind Ash Kong and his family to get the therapy he needs to be able to communicate. Great to have the Northside Chronicle cover the story of this brave young local.