Covenant Coffee: What a brew.
I remember the first time I met the house that Randy build(Covenant Coffee, Covenant Community Services was founded by Randy Martin). It was 2013 and I was housed at the TCF in Taft, California. A group of us came to speak to the young adults at Covenant Coffee about the power of choices. What great things God could gift through the repeated and intentional practice of good choices. And what consequences could be produced through poor choices.
I remember pondering before our arrival what we were going to. What is this place? Social services center? Coffee house? Nothing could have described what I was going to experince, because it is more than just a coffee house. It was a faith-expanding, mind-blowing, and aromatic-overloading experience.
And the coffee was good.
And it tursn out Covenant Coffee has a very simple operating mode: Covenant Coffee is a cool place to drink really good coffee and the business behind it helps foster kids who are “aging out” of the foster system get housing, services, skills, and support.
The coffee house has a parent organization called Covenant Community Services. Combined, the group helps the young adults find work(or hires them outright), provides job skills training, locates housing, and builds support structures that other kids get from their custodial family members long after their eighteenth birthday. I am still benefiting from the fact that I was born into (by chance) a nuclear family that has stayed intact over four decades and has helped me return from my period of incarceration. I could not imagine not having this family, and contemplating this helped me realize how amazing what these young adults and Covenant Coffee/Community were doing.
On that first trip, I learned some staggering statistics. Close to 20% of kids that age out of foster care become instantly homeless. Only 3% of kids who age out of foster care earn a college degree. 70% of females aging out of the foster care system will become pregnant before they turn 21.
I couldn’t help but compare those statistics to the ones that face inmates leaving prison. It was soul shattering to see the similarity between the apparent mountains of struggle ahead of the young adults leaving foster care.