There’s something very special about this East London coffee shop! Second Shot not only helps to feed the homeless in the local community, but also employs people who have experienced homelessness.
It was founded by university drop out Julius Ibrahim, who started a crowd funding campaign to help get his social enterprise off of the ground.
‘I moved into London in 2013 and I was just surprised that there wasn’t anything more being done to alleviate the problem. So I just wanted to do something and raise the profile of the issue really. And yeah, I just had a passion for coffee and passion for the industry.’
‘With our loyalty card after 6 stamps each customer can get a free coffee. But if they want to, after 3 what you can do is rip it in half, and then hand it to someone on the street that they can then use to come in with it and get a free coffee.’
‘Our pay it forward system is where our customers pre pay for something so that later someone off the streets can get it for free. Our customers have really embraced the idea and got behind it. We’ve given away almost 300 meals.’
‘The average person in the UK is only two pay cheques away from becoming homeless. So it literally can happen to anyone. And breaking down that social stigma and getting people to understand and getting people to give you a second shot is really challenging.’
One person who knows all too well how quickly life can spiral out of control is Ecevit Tahsin or ‘Edge’. He experienced homelessness first hand at a very difficult time in his life.
‘My own experience of homelessness is a very dark, very cold place. I used to be a pastry chef. I was with a partner at the time – I came home one night from work to find that she was messing about with someone in the house. We split up and because everything was in her name I ended up on the streets.’
During his time sleeping rough Edge started using heroin.
‘Being on the drugs, I’m not gonna say it helped me, but it makes you numb. So you don’t feel what’s going on around you. But once my family found out I was on drugs they kind of pushed me away. Nobody really understood me, what I was going through, what I was feeling and I was very isolated. ‘
Thankfully, Edge managed to get himself off of the drugs, and has now been given his own flat. He has been working at Second Shot since it opened in May 2016.
‘Being here has really given me a sense of purpose and helping me to re-establish my life.’
‘I’ve been given a lot of responsibility. There’s not many places like this where someone from the street can come in and feel like a part of the community. That for me really hits it home.’
Keep up the amazing work guys!