Tell us about the project. Homelessness is shit. And what’s even more shit is that, although we care about it deeply, we were doing nothing to help. We are told not to give cash to homeless people on the streets but, on the other hand, giving money to a big charitable organisation feels horribly impersonal. We needed a more human way to help.
Crack + Cider is a shop where you can purchase useful items for London’s rough sleepers and we will distribute them to those in need before Christmas.
What moved you to help homeless people? Unlike many issues the world faces, homelessness is something we can’t ignore. It’s literally on our doorstep. We feel guilty, yes, but somehow we still manage to look the other way when we are asked for help. We wanted to change that.
Where did the name Crack + Cider come from? A homeless neighbour said to us: "People don’t give me cash because they think I’ll spend it on crack and cider." This inspired us to develop a new approach to charitable giving. No guilt, no victims, just frank honesty and direct-response solutions. We put this honesty front and centre to spark the provocative debate that this topic deserves and is, to date, being avoided.
How can people get involved? Buy from our online shop or, during November, come and visit us at the One Good Deed Today store in Hoxton. If you’ve got an idea for Crack + Cider, we’d love to hear it. And if you want to start your own project, we’d love to share what we’ve learnt along the way.
How do you distribute the products to homeless people? That’s actually been one of the trickiest parts of the project. We have linked up with local soup kitchens and shelters that have personal relationships with the homeless community and will be able to get the items in the hands of those who need them most.
Any plans for next year? We’d love to take the Crack + Cider concept to another major city (watch out, San Francisco) and our dream is to change the way brands approach CSR. There is a huge potential for brands around pro-social initiatives that will ultimately grow brand equity and (maybe even) make employees happier.