The Haven Project, a Lynn-based program that helps homeless young adults, will be opening a new café, The Land of A Thousand Hills Coffee Company, on Munroe Street this fall.
The Southern-based Thousand Hills coffee company, whose motto is “Drink Coffee, Do Good,” is partnering with The Haven Project in a social enterprise venture that will give homeless young adults (ages 17-24) job training skills and a position of employment at the café for one year.
“At the end of that year, we will place these adults in another job that will take them to the next level in their lives,” said Kurt Lange, who is assisting The Haven Project with the construction of the café. “The whole goal is to get these adults to a sustainable living wage.”
Lange said the café’ will be The Haven Project’s version of a neighborhood coffee shop “with a local vibe and an urban, industrial, feel to it.”
In addition to breakfast, the 40-seat café will serve luncheon sandwiches.
Gini Mazman, executive director of The Haven Project, said the coffee shop venture is part of the organization’s overall programming that helps homeless young adults. Haven also staffs a drop-in center on Munroe Street and educational and housing programs.
“We’re looking at ways to develop opportunities for young adults,” said Mazman.
Lange said the café will be open Mondays through Thursdays, from 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays when evening events featuring local musicians and artists will be held.
Proceeds from the coffee shop will go back into job training for young adults.
According to Mazman, the Career Center at the North Shore Work Force Investment Board will be paying the salaries of the young adults who work at the coffee shop.
“It is a tremendous gift from the Career Center because that covers a lot of our costs,” said Mazman. “One of the good things about being able to offer jobs to these young adults is that we can tie their employment in to other goals such as attending summer school classes or acquiring language skills.”
Lange said that Lynn community and officials, including State Rep. Brendan Crighton and City Councilors Rich Colucci and Diane Chakoutis, have been very supportive of the new venture.