Roots of Change is a storytelling platform dedicated to the Alumni community of The Funding Network Australia. Here we share their stories of ingenuity, courage, determination, spirit, growth and the impact these grassroots organisations have had, as a direct result of funds and support received from The Funding Network community.

Coffee Cart Changing Lives (Crêpes For Change)

Coffee Cart Changing Lives (Crêpes For Change)


A social enterprise providing a truly Melbourne-class coffee experience with all profits going towards eliminating youth homelessness.

Over 44,000 young people currently experience homelessness in Australia. When two Melbourne brothers, Dan and Liam Poole, heard that statistic they realised they had to do something about it. So they launched Coffee Cart Changing Lives, a social enterprise built on a simple premise; leveraging the power of caffeine to eliminate youth homelessness. They operate a mobile coffee catering service, as well as a fleet of permanent coffee carts around Melbourne that focus on providing employment and training opportunities to young people experiencing homelessness.

2018 Pitch

Funds raised: $24,411

Coffee Cart Changing Lives pitched at TFN Melbourne in February 2018 to raise funds to purchase another two coffee carts. Each coffee cart provides paid work opportunities for at-risk youth facing homelessness. By working with Coffee Cart Changing Lives, young people embark on a pathway to employment and begin to break the cycle of youth homelessness.

The Impact…

There are different ways in which young people enter homelessness, such as being forced leave their homes due to family breakdown or violence. But what’s common to many in these situations is the lack of a healthy support network. This sense of isolation doesn’t just act as a pathway to homelessness – it can also be a barrier to leaving it. This is what makes Coffee Cart Changing Lives so unique. It’s not just stable accommodation and vocational training, but it provides emotional support and encouragement to young people when they need it most.

At TFN Live Melbourne Levi pitched for another coffee cart. This would provide financial sustainability for Coffee Cart Changing Lives as well as an additional workplace for the young people they support.

In the last 12 months, this additional coffee cart has provided 12 young people with training, income and independence. Two have already gotten jobs and all employees are demonstrating greater self-confidence and employability. And the impact goes far beyond employment. Through hospitality training, young people are given the skills they need to find – and keep – jobs and ultimately break the cycle of homelessness. In the meantime, they are also given a safe place to nurture new, healthy relationships and a sense of belonging and confidence.

This is the story of a young man named Nick,* a trainee.

“Nick* is a 17 year old young man who came to Australia as a refugee. He found accomodation at support at Launch Housing, and from there joined the Society Melbourne Hospitality Training Program at our Coffee Cart. Nick thrived in the Coffee Cart and soon moved into cafe where his skills were further tested and challenged. During this time Nick fell out with Launch Housing and moved back to temporary and insecure accommodation with his sister. With TFN's funding, Society Melbourne were able to set up a Private Coffee Cart which generates key profits to put towards the Training Program. This funding has been used to double Nick's shifts, giving him more opportunities for paid work as him and his sister work towards finding secure, permanent accommodation. Nick has also worked on the Private Coffee Cart, challenging his barista and customer service skills. All of these opportunities have provided Nick with education and employment and his confidence and attitude has significantly improved” - Levi Fernandez

*Name changed.

Read their Impact Report.

Learn more about Coffee Cart Changing Lives.

The Bridge

The Bridge

Satellite Foundation

Satellite Foundation