A novel approach to helping the homeless

Jar for money.Through our project, we approached some of the coffee places and restaurants in Budapest which provide  Suspended coffee. Our goal is to discover and explore the benefits of this phenomenon and also try to spread the idea of “suspended philosophy” more widely. Suspended Coffee Suspended Coffee Origins The story bellow describes the Suspended Coffee phenomenon and how it started in Naples. We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order. While we’re approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter: “Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three suspended” They pay for their order, take the two and leave. I ask my friend: “What are those ‘suspended’ coffees?” “Wait for it and you will see.” Some more people enter. Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go. The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers — three for them and four ‘suspended’. While I still wonder what’s the deal with those ‘suspended’ coffees I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view towards the square in front of the café. Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks ‘Do you have a suspended coffee?’ It’s simple — people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who cannot afford a warm beverage. The tradition with the suspended coffees has spread all over the world and in some places you can order not only a suspended coffee, but also a sandwich or a whole meal. http://www.snopes.com/glurge/suspended.asp#T1VV4XmBjfE4wmRB.99 In a city like Budapest with 10,000 homeless persons living on streets there are at least 10 places which support and offer help through the Suspended coffee community. We approached one of these places and tried to get more information about the Suspended coffees. We discovered that Suspended Coffee in Budapest differs from other cities in Europe when we visited Kőleves, a restaurant, which is located in the very center of Pest. – Why do you facilitate this project? We are very willing to help people in need and the Suspended Coffee seemed very helpful way to offer something to those who need. – How many people use it? The problem is that not so many people use it, neither customers or homeless and people in need. – What are the difficulties? The main difficulty is that Suspended Coffee is not so popular yet, and maybe this is why not so many people use it. Even if sometimes, people came in, to ask for a Suspended meal, there were no customers that offered one, so we (anyways) gave to the people a meal ourselves. – What were the rules before becoming an official suspended coffee place? The people from the Suspended Coffee community had an interview with us, checked what kind of people we are and how we want to help. Then, there are some other rules, such us that we need to put a Suspended Coffee sticker outside of our restaurant. Also we put a jar near the window where we placed the receipts of the customers who offered a suspended coffee or meal. This way someone who would pass by, might see that we facilitate Suspended Coffee and there are available meals and drinks. – Can you imagine that homeless people walking in your establishment might offend people? It might scare away costumers, is that an issue? No it wouldn’t be an issue I think. However, usually no homeless people come to the restaurant. Only some people in need. And this is why we decided that in order to help more with the homeless we need to act in some other way. So we decided to make a new jar where, all customers can contribute as much as they would like. We can use this money to cook dishes and offer them to people who need it. Until now, many customers give money for that purpose.   DSC00744 DSC00745

The Suspended Coffee charity is very low profile and accessible for many people. But in order to become successful, the suspended coffee needs to be well known and popular to everyone.

Some of the cafes and restaurants which provide Suspended Coffees in Budapest are:

A Szezon (1088 Budapest, Bródy Sándor utca 11.)

Módszertani Kabinet ( 1027  Budapest, Varsányi Irén utca 9.)

BEER-lak (Y Bar & Café, 1072 Budapest, Rottenbiller utca 39.)

Funky Pho (1066 Budapest, Mozsár utca 7 .)

Basil-Ica (1065 Budapest, Révay köz 2 .)

Koleves (1075 Budapest, Kazinczy utca 37-41 .)

Szelet (1137 Budapest, Szent István körút 12 .)

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