The Outpost is a project that is being taken on by the Warrior Institute. So first, a little bit about Warrior Institute: we are a non-profit organization that provides transitional and rehabilitative services to military service members, veterans, and their family members. The primary programs that we currently offer are an innovative combination of recreational activities and biofeedback training. Essentially we provide an awesome combination of training for the mind AND body. Our goal is to increase the quality of life in our program participants; how we do this is getting veterans outside and active and providing them a method to manage their stress. The beautiful thing about our program is that IT WORKS. Check out some stories told by veterans:
So far we have seen some amazing positive changes occur in our veteran participants. Our motto is:
The OUTPOST is a new initiative that Warrior Institute is taking on to specifically address issues of veteran unemployment, substance abuse, and social isolation. We are opening a veteran run coffee shop in Gainesville, Florida, and need help raising the capital to purchase the necessary equipment. This coffee shop will provide a popular product (coffee!) to customers, which in turn provides the necessary funding to support Warrior Institute's veteran programs, AND provide employment and work skills training to veterans!
Here are the 4 goals for the Outpost:
1) To employ local veterans.
2) To provide a substance free 'safe-space' and social hang-out.
3) To increase community support and awareness of the Warrior Institute mission and cause
4) To generate consistent revenue to support our ongoing programs for veterans, all of which are FREE to participate in!
We believe that this Outpost coffee shop model will be very successful, and will lead to additional Outpost locations. This in turn leads to: more veterans being employed; more funds being generated for Warrior Institute's programs; and more veterans participating in programs that increase the quality of their life! All from drinking coffee! So in addition to 'Restoration thru Recreation', Warrior Institute will provide:
Here's how we are going to do this:
-The location is already established: we will be creating the coffee shop at the existing Warrior Institute facility. We reside in a really awesome warehouse with tons of extra space. The best part is that we occupy the space RENT FREE! That's the kind of amazing veteran-friendly community we live in: one that already supports our cause!
-The necessary renovations (i.e. plumbing necessities for the machines, extra electrical outlets, building a counter) will all be completed by a team of volunteers who have already enthusiastically signed up for the job. This team will be headed by a licensed contractor. PLUS we have a team of veteran volunteers who will be helping us paint, update, and clean, etc. So what this all boils down to is that none of the capital we raise will go towards paying people to help out. Everything will go towards purchasing the necessary equipment and supplies.
Co-founder of Warrior Institute, Jeff Zyburt, measuring for the coffee counter, while service dog, Gunner, looks on.
-We will be partnering with a local roaster here in the Gainesville area. Firstly, we want to help support a local company; secondly, locally roasted fresh coffee is the most delicious kind of coffee; and lastly, working with a local organization means that there are more people to help spread awareness of the Warrior Institute cause within our community.
-One of the best parts of this project is that we already have a brand, mission, and cause established: to support veterans. We are really just building upon a foundation that has been in place (and growing!) for the last three years.
Thanks for supporting our cause!