Change Please proceeds fund job training for people experiencing housing insecurity

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: Dining

On April 1, 2022, Change Please opened alongside Auntie Anne’s on campus in their first United States location.

Change Please serves delicious coffee sourced globally but roasted in the United States. The program is unique in its philanthropic mission. Sales from each cup of coffee fund non-profit organizations in the Charlotte area that help ease housing insecurity, as well as barista training to help individuals find employment opportunities.

The coffee is served on campus in the new Science Building, at The Dubois Center at UNC Charlotte Center City and at campus events catered by Dining Services.

The program has successfully raised enough money to invest in equipment for a new location near uptown Charlotte that is hosting their grand opening on March 16 in the Envision Charlotte’s Innovation Barn at 932 Seigle Avenue.

According to Envision Charlotte’s website, the Innovation Barn “is a combination of entrepreneurial businesses, zero-waste initiatives, and a space to convene groups in order to learn more about and implement circular projects. The City of Charlotte owns the building and Envision Charlotte manages, designs, and implements the programming within.”

The 18,000-square-foot warehouse houses a number of other programs that are dedicated to creating a closed-loop circular economy, meaning that vendors and programs occupying the space are committed to recycling, upcycling and growing produce in-house.

Ryan McMillan, operations and impact director at Change Please, said he is excited about sharing the space with other socially-driven organizations, and he has plans to expand the menu at Change Please to include sustainable food offerings from produce grown on-site.

The new location will serve drip coffees, lattes, cappuccinos and other espresso-based drinks; eventually expanding to include food, beer and wine. It will also be used as a job training center to help those experiencing housing insecurity learn barista skills and find local employment.

“When the equipment is in place we will have the capacity to train 200 people a year through this site,” McMillan said.

The space will continue to grow and evolve after the program rolls out. McMillan also has big plans for Charlotte that include two more Change Please sites: “We are really just getting started so stay tuned for more to come.”

If you would like to try Change Please coffee right here on campus, visit the Aurum Cafe in the new Science Building. Check Dine on Campus for the latest hours of operation.