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Crack and Cider to Open Pop Up Shop in San Francisco to Help the Homeless

By on November 16, 2016

Nationwide container sales

Scarlett Montanaro and Charlotte Cramer, two women from London, started the non-profit Crack and Ciderandnbsp;after they saw a billboard calling upon people to not donate money to the homeless in the city. City Labandnbsp;is reporting that they are putting up a pop up shop in San Francisco to help the homeless there. Pop up shops are built from steel shipping containers. Usually a company or organization will buy used storage containers and convert them into small, portable or temporary stores.

Montanaro and Cramer said they got the idea for the name of the charity from something a homeless person said to them:

“People don’t give me money because they just think I’ll spend it on crack and cider.”

The idea for the charity is simple. They talk to homeless shelters in the area and find out what they need. They list those items on their website and when people purchase them, Crack and Cider will distribute them to the homeless shelters. The items they sell tend to be winter garments such as hats, scarves, jackets, gloves and other items that are useful to keep people warm. They also sell some personal products and items to help homeless people with their pets.

The pair wanted to use a name that was very provocative. From the billboardandnbsp;that showed a pair of hands and featured the text:andnbsp;

“Don’t contribute to a person’s death. The money given to homeless people on the streets is likely to be spent on drugs and alcohol. It means that rather than helping them you could be contributing to their deaths. So if you want to give, give to your local homeless charity instead.”

Crack and Cider has a pop up shop in London and the San Francisco shop will be in the Tenderloin neighborhood of the city, which is thought to be “ground zero” for the city’s homeless problem. According to City Lab, Cramer says that their venture has been as successful as it has been so far, it only opened last year, “because people do care, but they often do not know what to do with that sense of empathy.” San Francisco has one of the largest homeless populations in the United States. These pop up shops are a great reason to buy used storage containers.

Crack and Cider says that 60% of the visits to the website end with a sale. The average amount that people spend on the site is $40. Cramer thinks that while people would not be willing to give that much to a homeless person they saw on the street. She believes that people are more likely to spend money on a concrete item that they know will help and be used by people who are homeless. She also thinks this helps people feel more of a connection to the people they are helping.

The vast majority of sales are on the website but the container pop up shops are good to raise awareness of what Crack and Cider is trying to do. They work with the homeless shelters to make sure they have something for every person there before they send anything. They do not want only some people at the shelter to benefit.

“Our generation has lived through a period where we feel like we’ve been let down by the structures that are supposed to be in place to help people,” Cramer says. “But we’ve also increasingly been given, through technology and open-source ideas, ways to easily build organizations that do good,” she adds. “When you see that the world isn’t in a great place right now and you have the opportunity to do something about it, you realize there’s no excuse not to.”

The vast majority of used steel storage containers are used for shipping or storage but some buy used storage containers for other things such as container pop up shops. They can also be used for portable office containers and even homes. Organizations such as Crack and Cider show how pop up stores can be used to help people. This has to be the best reason to buy used storage containers by far.

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