70.4% of homeless respondents report being discriminated against by companies based on their housing status. Additionally, over 60% of graduates from non-profit training programs that work with people experiencing homelessness are still unemployed one year after graduating. Breaktime Cafe is a non-profit social enterprise founded by two students at Harvard University that aims to fight these statistics by launching the careers of young adults experiencing homelessness through employment and empowerment.
Our niche is as a transitional employer, providing the much needed stepping stone between foundational training programs run by nonprofits and the broader workforce. Therefore, we provide approximately one year of hands-on work experience at a living wage, supplemental vocational training, and one-on-one career mentorship. We believe that early intervention and support for these young adults experiencing homelessness is critical in preventing long-term chronic homelessness.
At Breaktime, we have always been about more than just work. We aim to create a stable and loving network of support for these young adults, providing them with long-term career mentorship, social capital, community, and an overall improved quality of life.
Breaktime has already begun employing and paying five young adults experiencing homelessness at $15/hour through our catering and sales program. We have successfully matched these employees with full-time positions at other companies, helping them to get out of homelessness.
Now, we are looking to expand our impact by opening a cafe space in Boston, MA. This cafe will create over 50 jobs for young adults experiencing homelessness and serve as Breaktime's talent hub--hosting vocational trainings and bringing in employers to connect at-risk youth with job opportunities. We aim to teach our employees universally-applicable hard and soft skills that they can bring with them as they advance through their careers.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (July 2019)