J.O.E. (Jobs.Opportunities.Enterprise), a Guelph-based charity, started with eight young adults with developmental disabilities and their families. In 2013, they pitched a tent in a parking lot and launched their first pop-up café. For seven years J.O.E. grew, and by winter of 2020 they had three locations in Guelph—including the downtown library. J.O.E. Baristas were proud of their work, but it was clear J.O.E. was about much more than coffee. J.O.E. meant participating fully within an inclusive community.
Unfortunately, J.O.E.’s cafés shut down due to COVID-19, but J.O.E. Baristas forged ahead. Today, Baristas tell stories and share experiences during online Coffee Chats, mentor peers about employment skills through Training Grounds and lend a hand to community members in need through our Community Helpers Program.
Baristas painted rocks for the Hospital Rock Garden in support of frontline workers, wrote notes for people in isolation, collected and delivered food for those in need, and decorated postcards for kids heading back to school. J.O.E. Baristas also created J.O.E. Fun activity Sheets that are distributed to families through the Guelph Children’s Foundation, Lakeside Hope House and the Guelph Public Library. Click here to access J.O.E.’s activity sheets.
Today, J.O.E. Baristas continue to meet online for peer mentoring and community connecting. With the help of funding from the United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin, the Government of Canada, The City of Guelph, and Guelph Rotary, the Community Helpers Program and J.O.E. programs continue to thrive. To get involved or to find out more about J.O.E.’s programs, contact Nicole Marchesseau, Project Manager, at (519) 994-3563, send an email to email@example.com, or check out our website jobsopportunitiesenterprise.org.