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Ottawa Brewery Hires Homeless For Deliveries

Some of Ottawa's homeless will soon be employed by a local brewing company to deliver beer to area homes.

Beau's All Natural Brewing Co. will start doing house calls Nov. 24 and has hired Operation Come Home to deliver the beer from the Vankleek Hill, Ont. brewery.

The agency features businesses that help Ottawa's young homeless residents make some money. This enterprise with Beau's, which previously only collected empty bottles from people's homes, will now exchange empties for full bottles.

Keanen Fawcett, 20, said he is eager to apply for one of these new jobs.

A recovering alcoholic, Fawcett added that Operation Come Home has helped him both feed himself and boost his self-esteem. He said alcohol would not stop him from throwing his name in the hat.

"Booze will be everywhere, almost for the rest of your life," said Fawcett, who has spent the past four years living on Ottawa's streets.

"To me, it's just about willpower."

Customers order online, pay fee

Customers will be able to order the beer online then pay Operation Come Home the $15 delivery fee at the door. The delivery service will launch with three employees and one van delivering within downtown Ottawa.

The head of Operation Come Home expects demand will allow the brewery and the agency to expand the delivery service. She also said this type of idea is part of a larger movement where social agencies create social enterprises and find niche markets that fuel the businesses.

"The purpose of the business is to make money and provide employment opportunities to homeless youth," executive director Elspeth McKay said, adding money raised will help fund the agency's other programs.

"We're doing it a bit differently than somebody else might do, but quite frankly, I think this model is far more innovative than most of the other models I've seen in Ottawa."

A brewery spokesman also said this idea will help its own bottom line, its customer service and raise money for charity at the same time.

"A lot of people would like to get the beer more frequently," said Steve Beauchesne, who co-founded the brewery with his father Tim.

"It's a really good feeling helping my business out in a way that really helps the community in such an impactful way."

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