Kingdom coffee grabbed our attention because of their story. We could tell from the moment we met with the owner Jesse that their story was genuine. We explained that we are a fundraising company and that was all that we needed to say. He was onboard to start helping by sharing his profits with us and our fundraising organizations. His passion for helping is exactly what we look for in a vendor, that and the quality of their product. Needless to say, Jesse from Kingdom Coffee checks off both boxes. We’re excited to have him onboard and can’t wait to see the positive impact his coffee and his brand will make on the fundraising world. We already know the impact he’s making in the world without us, we’re just along for the ride and maybe learn a thing or two from him.
If you’re not familiar with his story, please take a moment and read about it here.
From heroin, crack cocaine and homelessness
Jim was homeless, hooked on drugs and suicidal. Four strangers shared a conversation which led to Jim checking into a recovery center. Jim was able to find sobriety after a 30 your addiction, find his identity and went from being an angry violent man to a man his family adored. Jim was helping others get off the streets and into recovery, when he tragically passed away in a workplace accident.
We have since become those strangers, we offer up hope with a cup of coffee and conversation to the homeless every week. A portion of every bag sold goes to helping people off the street, into recovery and finding them a place to stay.
Jim was my Dad and this is his story.
Jesse & Steph Singleton
Kingdom Coffee – My “Homeless” Story
Their story resonated with me because I actually had a “homeless” story of my own.
I was taking a facilitator development course in a city I wasn’t completely familiar with. Part of the course was about letting go of our personal image so that you’re no longer worried about what people think of you. We are not the image we pretend to be, our clothes, our hair colour/style or beliefs or our past history. Truth is, we’re way more than that, we’re spiritual beings and we are guided on a journey.
They journey I chose during the course was to let go of all of the image I had about myself by going out on the street and pretending to be homeless for one night. My friend who I won’t mention by name, I’ll just call her Zoey, went out in the cold Edmonton -30 degree celcius after a evening at the bar. We were dropped off at the nearest C-Train station with blankets and old winter jackets to keep warm.
We found ourselves worried for our lives in the first hour. We huddled up to stay warm on the stairs just underground enough to feel some of the warmth coming from the train station. We heard noises of what could only be crack pipes and god knows what else was being consumed by other fellow homeless people lower down the stairs closer to the train station. An older man crossed our path as he coming out of the dark shadows. We were afraid to make eye contact but kept one eye open to make sure we weren’t in any danger. He spoke empathetically to us, “I wish I could trade my life for yours, you guys are too young to be out here on your own”. We were surprised to hear that kind of sympathy, we simply acknowledged his kinds words as he shook his head and continued to walk past us.
Minutes felt like hours, time seemed to drag on and I remember thinking that the night would never end. We were lonely, cold and most of all, we felt completely vulnerable. We didn’t last more than a couple hours before we were being approached by the police. We never wanted to leave that underground facility as it gave off a lot of heat but we were forced to move on. The police gave us the address of a mission that was only supposed to be a few blocks away. They asked us if we were new to the streets because they hadn’t seen us before. We said that we were and I could tell they felt bad for us. It was a whole new experience for me as I was never judged like that before.
We wondered the streets and got lost, we didn’t want to pull out our smart phones and look up the address and map out our way because we didn’t want to let anybody passing by to see us with a phone. We decided it was best as we were really cold so we huddled together with blankets over us searching for the location of the mission. As we did that, there was a guy dressed up heading to the bus stop, I guess he was heading to work as it was approaching 6am by that time. I could sense the judgement from how he looked at us. I remember thinking that if I just took off these layers of clothes he would see that we have nice clothes on underneath and would think of us totally different. That’s when it clued into me that we as people build ourselves up with layers and we make judgements based on what we see, not what actually is. It was a lesson I’ll always remember when I’m quick to judge others.
On the way to the mission, we took one wrong turn and we got stuck down a dead end street where all of a sudden a man appeared and asked us if we had any weapons. It was the scariest moment of my life. I was completely afraid as he approached me, he had his hands in his sweater appearing to hold something. Zoey ran and started screaming for help. The man who appeared to be from around there started pushing me. All I could do was to look him in the eyes and take it as he continued to push me. I didn’t give him the satisfaction of a fight that he wanted. After three or four shoves, he left and told us that he was disgusted with us because of the colour of our skin I’m assuming.
We quickly got out of there and finally got to the mission and I felt like it was mission complete. We checked out and phoned our friends for a ride back to the hotel. That was only one night, not even a full night and I felt so completely vulnerable, scared for my life and so very grateful at the same time that I had a home, a wife and a child who was three at the time. I was grateful that I lived to tell about it and that I would see my family again. That one experience gave me the perspective on why maybe these homeless people are addicted to drugs and alcohol. It’s an escape from the reality that these people face each and every day. How can you have hope when the world around you seems hopeless?
Kingdom Coffee Products On Our Store
Kingdom Coffee Connection
That’s why Kingdom Coffee and the work that Jesse is doing is so important and meeting with him and his son brings back those memories of that night where I went on the craziest of adventures. It was the night that brought me to what most people call god. It was a connection to spirit that cannot be explained, how despite the vulnerability that I felt, I knew I was guided.
The connections that we make in business is no different and I’m grateful to be partnered with Kingdom Coffee. It’s a partnership that’s more than about money, it’s about making a difference.