A popular coffee shop in Denver is making a difference, and not just through their drinks. The Purple Door Coffee Shop, founded by Madison Chandler and Mark Smesrud, helps support youth coming out of homelessness by offering them jobs behind the counter, and teaching them skills such as customer service and budgeting. Moved by the overwhelming number of homeless youth in the region, Chandler and Smesrud sought a way to help them get back on their feet. “No one who’s 13, 14, 15, 16 should be homeless,” says Chandler. Purple Door creates rewarding experiences not only for their employees, but for their customers as well. Each bean brewed keeps them coming back, and offers a simple way to give even the most vulnerable members of the community a chance to thrive.


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  • Mert

    the love that is shared is what they serve! thank you Madison and Mark

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    Thank you for sharing kindness! I'll be back in Denver this June, will be sure to stop by! Id love to hug you each in person! :)

  • Charlie

    Will have to make it over to check it out... Great job on support the youth!

  • Geri deGruy

    This is wonderful. And I live in the Denver area so I'll definitely visit.

  • Julie Thomas

    I LOVE this! So proud for it to be in Denver (where I live) and plan to go visit!

  • Karen

    These young people give me hope for the world. I see so much division and anger in the world. This is the opposite.

  • Susan

    Helping save lives one step at a time.

  • Myra

    THIS - this is what our world needs now. Kindness.

  • Kay

    I remember my first mentors. I am thankful for their inspiration and their belief in me to give me a start in life! Thank you for giving another human being support and affirmation!

  • Kitty

    The kindness of the human spirit. Thank you Chandler and Mark!

  • Edward Hazzard

    What inspired you about this video? It reminds me of different craft show vendors who sell bagged soup products (beans & spices). I believe one vendor I have seen is Three Sisters Soups. It is run by and helps battered and/or homeless women. I believe people need to be shown that they have something to give. Giving Is Receiving! Giving people an opportunity/job to do this is GRACE. I make handbound journals which, as I have said many times, ' anyone can make these, they just don't know they can!' I someday could help give people a craft that they could use for income. Hoping to work on this.

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  • Get a glimpse of the moving journeys of the individuals who work at Purple Door.
  • For decades now, Greg Boyle has been turning around the lives of ex-gang members through Homeboy Industries. This video offers a glimpse of his kindred effort.
  • Interested in giving back to the homeless members of your own community? Consider volunteering at a shelter, donating clothing, or organizing a food drive.

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