Five Businesses that help the Homeless and the Hungry

These "Blue Sky" companies have made homelessness and hunger more than just a cause-marketing focus. It's part of their for-profit business models.

ARTLIFTING markets the artwork of the disabled and homeless as a way for them to secure income. Every artist earns 55% from the profit of each sale. 1% from each sale go toward strengthening art services for community partners that support ArtLifting artists, which includes art programming at social service agencies, shelters, and disability centers. The company currently represents 115 artists. THE GIVING KEYS sells keys with motivational messages. It describes itself as a “paying it forward” company that exists to create jobs, “the long-term solution to breaking the cycles of generational poverty and homelessness.” The company has created 70 jobs in Los Angeles for people transitioning out of homelessness. EVEN STEVENS is a restaurant chain that gives one sandwich to homeless and hungry people for every sandwich sold. Its slogan is “a sandwich shop with a cause.” So far, they have donated more than a million sandwiches to the homeless. The company explains its decision like this: “Unlike the cookie cutter chains of yesterday - we’re committed to locality, in every community we set up shop. By pulling on the symbolic white glove of good service, we’ve made a commitment to do good while snubbing the white-bread rhetoric and the empty-calories of purposeless work.” The ROOSTER SOUP COMPANY is a for-profit restaurant that hosts both homeless and traditional customers in Philadelphia. 100% of its profits go to homeless causes. It is a collaborative project by Federal Donuts /Cooknsolo restaurant group and the Broadstreet Ministry that serves the homeless. Cooknsolo restaurants also provide spare broth and chicken to Rooster Soup Co.PUBLIC GREENS URBAN KITCHEN is an Indianapolis restaurant that donates 100% of its profits to organizations that “provide healthy meals to children impacted by homelessness and hunger.” Public Greens is owned by Patachou Inc., a company that owns 11 restaurants, sends Public Greens’s profits to the Patachou Foundation for distribution. In 2016, the Foundation funded 16,000 meals to the homeless and the hungry.