Calgarian offers free coffee to the homeless in memory of his father
Every Saturday, a young man pours out fresh cups of hot coffee for his fellow man, all free of charge, with the goal of opening up a conversation with the city’s most vulnerable.
Jesse Singleton’s journey began three years ago when he lost his father Jim in a workplace accident.
He says his father led a very difficult life on the streets, dealing with serious issues of drug addiction, but he managed to turn everything around in a chance meeting.
“My dad used to shoot heroin right down here on the streets near the Calgary Drop-in Centre and Four Pastures, they found him and just talked to him, encouraged him and showed him some love. They ended up walking him down to the Calgary Dream Centre and he gave himself to God and it changed his whole life.”
Jesse says his father reconnected with his family and even ended up becoming a pastor before he was killed in a workplace accident in 2015.
“He was working as a pastor with construction on the side and he ended up slipping and falling off a roof,” Jesse says.
Singleton adds that the short time that he had with his dad inspired him and his wife Steph to do some good for the people who were in the same situation as Jim’s.
“We were so blown away by my dad and how his life changed that me and my wife Steph said that if he can change his life, anyone can.”
The pair started small, buying a box of coffee and giving it out for free in exchange for a conversation about the hope they believe in and Jim’s story. After a few months, they realized that their mission was so much more.
So, with a $15,000 payout from an insurance policy his father left him, Jesse bought a coffee roaster and began to roast his own coffee for his purposes.
“So we started roasting coffee and selling coffee by whole bean so we can give food away and coffee away to the homeless and that’s why we started Kingdom Coffee.”
Now Singleton sells the custom roasted coffee by the bag, with a dollar from each sale going to the Calgary Dream Centre and the rest goes to expanding the business.
It can be bought at three locations in Calgary and one in Dewinton. Full details can be found online.
(With files from Kevin Green)