Port Kembla cafe The Foundery is set to permanently close its doors this month with the kitchen already ceasing operation on Monday, though there are “better” things to come.
The Salvation Army owns the building and setup the cafe in 2014 to offer the long-term unemployed a ''hand-up'' instead of a ''hand-out''.
It provided work experience for students, and aimed to help the long-term unemployed by training and equipping them for the workforce.
“The Foundery cafe has seen many changes over the last six months and despite our best efforts … the cafe [will cease] trade by 28th of February,” managers wrote in a Facebook post.
“This is not the end for the Foundery. We are making plans that will allow for the building to be used for greater community support and impact.”
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In July 2018 the Salvation Army signaled the social enterprise was no longer financially sustainable and planned to close its doors.
This is not the end for the Foundery. We are making plans that will allow for the building to be used for greater community support and impact.The Foundery
Salvation Army Wollongong Major Phil Inglis said operations had improved over the past six months though sadly the commercial venture was still not financially viable.
“We’re closing the cafe business but not The Foundery,” he said.
“We do a number of community service type things out of the building – like support services, counselling – and we want to expand that.”
The cafe employed two full-time staff, four casuals and a number of volunteers who were gaining work experience.
Major Inglis said the Salvos were working with each of the workers to make sure they were “taken care of”.
He said the closure of the cafe was positive as more volunteers and more resources for the community would be able to be utilised.
The Salvos will continue to operate Café Essay in Wollongong, which also provides work experience for students and helps the long-term unemployed by training and equipping them for the workforce.