MESA, Ariz. (KSAZ) - A balloon release honored victims of domestic violence. October is domestic violence awareness month. 1 in 4 women have experienced domestic violence in her lifetime. 75% of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim.
One valley coffee shop has been open for five years, and they've helped support housing for dozens of domestic violence victims. This month more than ever they're hoping a little coffee sparks a whole lot of hope.
At Cup O'Karma in Mesa, you can get a hot chai tea, a cold brew, or even a pumpkin pie latte. For Barista Samantha Payson, a cup of java became her life line.
"It was time to save my own life, and these women and programs did that," said Samantha Payson.
The National Advocacy and Training Network runs the shop. Every penny goes to the organizations four transitional homes for domestic violence survivors. Kathy Hess used to be a resident; now she's a case manager.
"It's a community, they never have to leave there, there is always support here," said Kathy Hess.
Domestic violence survivors are serving up over 50 types of drinks here. Some workers are paid staff; others are going through on the job training that helps them transition into the workforce.
"It doesn't create a whole lot of revenue, but what it does create is job skills, building esteem, and a sense of community," said Hess.
For Payson before she started selling coffee she says she was selling herself short. She has since gone to college to study psychology.
"I didn't realize I could do exactly what my brain and heart kept telling me. Through my experience I decided that I needed to help other women because if I can get through this then they can," said Payson.
Cup O'Karma accepts donations online at: https://www.gofundme.com/CupOKarma