City Shine will employ the homeless to provide a premium shoe shining service and we need your help to get started.Shoes and Sensibility
Why shoe shining? Well, it's a service that is well known, easy to teach, quick to perform, rarely done at home (tut, tut), includes lots of face time with customers, and is a bit of a treat for the punter.
We will deal directly with businesses wanting to offer a perk to their employees and visitors, as well as establish the more traditional 'pay per shine' stalls around cities, in stations and airports, even at events such as trade shows and weddings.On their uppers
There are all types of people homeless for all types of reason. We can't offer a magic bullet to fix this (not on Day 1 at least, but we're still growing and we've got our eyes on the prize), but we can make a real difference for some – and we think that's a good place to start.
We train motivated homeless people, and give them the tools and confidence to provide a competitive service. From there we support them in one of two choices: Self Employment, offering flexibility and control for those that want it; and Direct Employment with the stability and security that provides. Both routes give our shiners plenty of opportunity for building confidence, social skills and up to date work experience, and real money in their pockets at the end of the week.I've got the world on a (shoe)string
We're working hard to keep start up costs to the bare minimum. We're trying to break even early and start growing from revenue; employing more shiners, and moving into other services such as quick tailoring repairs (fixing buttons or hems), domestic chores (knife-sharpening, a spot of gardening) and whatever else that we can use as a means to employ the homeless.
But we do need to bit of help to get started – we do need a little funding to start the snowball of sales revenue rolling down the mountain of financial sustainability to the unstoppable avalanche of a healthy going concern. And that's where you come in, dear reader...
A small donation buys your way into our story. We'll keep you posted on what we're up to and you can take real pride in what you've been instrumental in building. Larger denominations entitle you to a share in our sales revenue; as we grow, you could get your money back plus maybe some profit! (We hope that you might reuse that money to fund other projects – maybe even building a sinking fund of social finance - but if you use it for sweeties, you'll have certainly earned them)
Whatever you decide, we hope you'll stay in touch through social twit-face and our website to see what we're up to, and maybe even spread the word a little. In fact, there are plenty of ways you can help us without getting out the chequebook (see Get Involved below).