Light House Coffee, a new coffee shop that will hire and help refugees and displaced people, is set to open in the fall around LSU.
Amber and Steve Elworth came up with the idea. The shop has launched a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo to spread word of its business. The goal is to raise $50,000, which will go toward buildout of the shop and some equipment.
Amber Elworth has a decade of experience working with international students and refugees. She is an English teacher at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge. She said while the couple does love a good cup of Joe, there is a bigger goal at Light House Coffee.
"Of course, we love coffee, but we're not opening for just that purpose," she said. "We want to supplement what Catholic Charities is doing in Baton Rouge."
She added that the hardest part for displaced people coming into Baton Rouge isn't getting the job, but rather getting out of the poverty cycle. At Light House Coffee, the Elworths want to help refugees with long-term self-sufficiency.
"We're really intentional about not just giving them a job, but we want them to excel and pursue their own dreams," she said.
Programs and specialty courses will be available to the employees.
For the foodies, the coffee will be specialty grade. A few food and light meal options might be available in the shop, too. For more information, visit facebook.com/lighthousecoffeebr.