Covenant Community Services, Inc. (Covenant) is a multifaceted organization serving foster children and former foster youth. Covenant’s home is the Headquarters of Hope at 1700 North Chester in Bakersfield, California. Although the organization has been around for over a decade, the movement has gained great momentum in the past two years thanks to the generosity of the community.
In 2011, Covenant purchased the old Bank of America building constructed in 1954. Since moving into the HQ of Hope in the summer of 2011, operations have exponentially advanced. With the consolidation of operations that were once spread across Bakersfield, Covenant became poised for the launch of something special for Kern County foster youth. Thanks to the incredible financial support of a few private and local foundations, Covenant was able to purchase the building and complete a massive overhaul that included a roasting area for Covenant Coffee and a full coffee house and kitchen. With the addition of the coffee house and storefront, Covenant began to witness an increase in foot traffic and the expansion of the customer base.
Fast forward to 2012 and Covenant had secured additional foundation funds for the purchase of mobile coffee equipment and a commercial kitchen. Again, thanks to the generosity of local foundations and individuals, Covenant increased their social enterprises to include catering, mobile espresso services, a rental kitchen and “foodie” dinners once a month. During this rapid period of growth Covenant never lost sight of original vision to provide hope and love to abused an neglected children. So, with each endeavor simply came the opportunity to train, mentor and employ more former foster youth.
Covenant now has operations in social media, catering, mobile espresso and coffee, restaurant coffee, a commercial rental kitchen, coffee roasting and the coffee house. These social enterprises are fueled by the wonderful team of talented individuals that work at Covenant in the staple programs and services such as foster care, transitional housing (THP Plus and Building Blocks), the horse program, mentoring, family preservation (CARENET) and community development. Sticking true to mission and purpose, Covenant employs over a dozen former foster youth and trains hundreds more.
The success of the social enterprise program at Covenant is not measured in the “bottom line” of the balance sheet but in the number of youth that transition into higher paying and more long-term jobs. To date, Covenant has served many youth and connected them with jobs in the local business, industry and restaurant sectors. Still, Covenant also realizes that some youth may desire to develop a career in coffee, food services or social work and actually stay at Covenant as a contributing team member. In fact, earl;y in the process Covenant CEO, Randy Martin stated, “If we all are replaced by a former foster youth then we have done our job!”
To help Covenant, and the youth they serve, consider using your purchasing dollar to fund the mission. Buy Covenant Coffee! “Brew Covenant, Brew Hope … Brew Love” was a slogan developed by CSU Bakersfield marketing students. The students captured the essence of Covenant Coffee operations with the slogan and their hashtag #everytwopounds. The #everytwopounds concept came from the fact that for every two pounds of coffee purchased Covenant is able to hire a foster youth for one hour! So, make your dollar count and purchase Covenant Coffee today. Go to www.covenantcoffee.org to learn more or to www.covenantcs.net to learn more about Covenant.
On the Horizon
Stay tuned for information about our newest addition to the mobile coffee fleet funded by Rotary, a new grant from an oil company and opportunities to serve in the fall and winter.