OILDALE, Calif. – There is new hope brewing in Oildale, and it centers around a new coffee shop.
Covenant Community Services’ aim is to restore lives and transform generations by providing job skills and training to former foster youth.
The grand opening of Covenant Coffee marks a tangible change to an area struggling with a negative reputation.
|“Oildale is known for meth problems, gang violence and poverty. We want to bring hope here, not only for those we serve, but for the entire community,” said Randy Martin, of Covenant Community Services.Covenant Coffee is a top-notch, state-of-the-art coffee boutique in the heart of Oildale. Many customers said the new coffee shop may give the big-name shops a run for their money. ”Many of you may hate Oildale, but when you walk in here, you’re walking into some place very special. It is a place that helps people of all ethnic backgrounds. I know many people will make negitive comments on the news website, but they will be incorrect,” said Magan Hunt, a customer.
Covenant employs betwen 18 and 23 former foster youth. Chris Schwartz works as a roaster. Many youth just like him are learning responsibility through vocational training. ”I am so thankful for Covenant. There is a whole bunch of people here who care for others they don’t even know. It’s just amazing how a group of people would come together and help foster kids,” said Schwartz.
Organizers call the new location the ”headquarters of hope” because it’s more than a coffee shop. The facility also houses their administrative offices and training center for foster families and mentors.
“We are doing more than establishing a coffee shop. We are also helping to erase blight in Oildale. It is not an empty storefront. It’s a building that we can look at and say, someone is investing in our community, rather that moving out,” said Martin.
The grand opening celebration will continue through the weekend and will provide drink specials and live music.
Covenant Community Services is a nonprofit social service organization serving foster children, former foster youth and their families in Kern County.
Covenant is located at 1700 N. Chester Avenue. It can be reached at 661-829-6999
To see the origin of the story by Mark Christian of Channel 23 in Bakersfield and to watch the video news clip go to this link - http://www.turnto23.com/north_river_county/31251329/detail.html