When Julius Ibrahim opened up Second Shot Coffee shop in East London in 2016, his goal was to give formerly homeless people a chance to prove themselves as workers. One of his first employees was Ecevit Tihsinhatga better known as Edge.
Edge used to have a house, a wife, and a job as a pastry chef but that all changed when he got home one day to find his wife cheating on him. He broke up with her but, with the house in his wife’s name, he was left on the streets.
There he developed an addiction to heroin which drove his family and friends away. Since then he has become sober and he now has his own apartment and a job at Second Shot.
“Being here has really given me a sense of purpose and helped me to re-establish my life,” he said.
The Head of Coffee, Emilio Rodriguez, has worked with Edge and all other formerly homeless employees to train them and assure them that they’re doing a good job.
“The idea is that we’re working with people with a lot of disadvantages,” he said. “They don’t trust people they see. They have a lot of issues in terms of they don’t think they’re good enough for anything. We’re trying to get the best coffee we can as well as help the community around here.”
Additionally, the shop has a program wherein homeless people can receive a free cup of coffee.
“There aren’t a lot of places like this,” said Edge.
Credit: Barcroft TV