Denver Coffee Shop Hires Homeless Youth, Gives Them Second Chance

Most bosses avoid meddling in their employees’ personal lives, but Madison Chandler and Mark Smesrud are different.

They co-founded Purple Door Coffee, a Denver-based nonprofit that employs young people “who have been homeless and want to leave homelessness behind.” The shop provides a 52-week curriculum, teaching employees practical skills — like budgeting and banking — as well as the know-how to improve their physical, emotional and mental health.