Change Please – Coffee against Homelessness

May 25, 2019

“What if your morning coffee could change lives?”

It can, at least in London, and most likely if you get your coffee from one of the Change Please stalls. They employ formerly homeless people who have been trained as baristas to help them get off the streets. The Big Issue homeless magazine is behind it, which is comparable to Hinz & Kunzt, but above all Change Please is driven by Cemal Ezel.

I saw him last year at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam, where he rightly won first prize in the Chivas Venture Final. I was struck by the metaphors in his talk alone. “Change Please” as a request from a homeless person for change, but also as a request from Cemal to please change something, and the To Go coffee cup, which is often used for begging. The rest is also well thought out, as you can see here:

Change Please coffee is continuously sold at more and more mobile and fixed stations, getting more and more homeless people off the streets and into jobs, and in cooperation with the British supermarket chain Sainsburry’s, they sell their own coffees. Of course, I had to take them with me on my last visit to the island, instead of Grind.

Change Please Coffee

It was said on the panel that Change Please will expand to other countries. I would love to see that happen for us. It feels so easy and good in so many ways.
Until then, we will continue to drink our coffee at home and, if asked, we will gladly spare the Euro or buy the magazine Hinz & Kunzt (at least in Hamburg).

You can find basic information about the project on the Change Please website:

Written By

Hi, I'm Olli, I moved to Hamburg in 2008 and have been working in the media industry there ever since. Before that, I spent many years spinning records in the Northern German club scene and writing for a few, often music-related, magazines. Now, after a break of several years, I'm blogging again and writing from the heart, which I think is a bit awesome.

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