Harvard students seek to tackle the problem of homelessness with doughnuts.
In the 21st century homelessness is a growing problem and according to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development 2018 report, it’s a growing problem with a population of around half a million people and counting. In the bustling city of Boston Massachusetts two Harvard undergraduate students, Tony Shu and Connor Shoen, are joining the fight by creating a startup that prioritizes selling doughnuts in an effort focused on fighting the cycle of youth homelessness.
For Shoen and Shu, it has become a crucial goal for them to be able to provide assistance with the topic of youth homelessness. This is because the young adult homeless are a demographic that they truly empathize the most with. While it’s not just age that they have common, it’s also the social values that they share as 40% of homeless young adults identify as being part of the lgbtq community. Essentially homeless youths are the most discriminated against due to their age and social status making it very difficult for them to get jobs, get a home, and etc.
To help with tackling and defeating the cycle of homelessness, back in the spring of 2018 Shu and Shoen founded their company Breaktime Cafe, a proposed doughnut shop that runs on a business and philanthropy model. Breaktime Cafe is a store that will obtains doughnut shops at a wholesale price from nearby renowned doughnut shops, cutting the initial costs of starting from scratch and instead rather using the funds for other costs such as appliances. Ultimately Breaktime Cafe will be able to provide homeless young adults the opportunities of job security and vocational training in order to get back onto their feet.
Just last fall in 2018, Breaktime launched Breaktime Staffing as a way to connect homeless young adults to local businesses that had job openings. This program provided young adults experiencing homelessness with training, mentorship, and most importantly jobs.
Despite setbacks of original plans to open the cafe in the fall of 2018 due to problems such as the high costs of construction, Breaktime Cafe is planned to have its official debut in 2020.
To learn more about their story or to become an investor for this cause, support them by visiting their fundraiser page below and their official website.
Official Website: https://www.breaktime.us/
United States Housing and Urban Development Figures: https://www.hud.gov/press/press_releases_media_advisories/HUD_No_18_147