A brief history

  • STREAT was started in 2009 by Rebecca Scott & Kate Barrelle after they had worked at a similar social enterprise, KOTO, for 2 years.
  • The organisation was conceptualised and built to be able to scale both in Melbourne and beyond.
  • STREAT gained its start-up funding from overseas philanthropists, the TK Foundation, but has spread its support base to include Australian governments, philanthropists, businesses and individuals.
  • In March 2010 we started in business. It was a very humble beginning with one little mobile street food cart on Federation Square. We had grand plans to build a fleet of mobile street food carts operating right across Melbourne's CBD, however after a year standing outside in the sun and wind and rain with our first nine young people, we decided we needed a weatherproof plan! Fortunately the GPT Group welcomed us to Melbourne Central and we started selling coffee indoors from that same little cart. Due to food safety regulations, we had to stick to selling coffee. We quickly hired our first baristas, and went about trying to learn how to run a take-away coffee business. This site still remains our busiest, and has served well over half a million coffees. 
  • When STREAT kickstarted it offered a six-month Certificate II program to its young people. This has now evolved into a suite of programs including hospitality short courses, a Certificate II program, work experience opportunities and a creative arts program. We now understand that young people need a whole pathway of opportunities, and sometimes the first step has to be very small.
  • In 2012 STREAT pioneered one of the first equity investments in an Australian social enterprise, undertaking an acquisition of The Social Roasting Company which operated two cafes and a coffee roastery. We doubled the size of our enterprise overnight, and quickly had to learn how to run bigger cafes and a coffee roastery. Fortunately we've been able to grab opportunities quickly when they've presented themselves, and pivot quickly as an organisation. Although our business model looks VERY different to what we'd envisaged in our feasibility study, our commitment to providing the best support and training opportunities to the most disadvantaged young people in our community has never waned. 
  • STREAT’s scaling is progressing very well and with the opening in September 2016 of our new flagship site, Cromwell STREAT, the organisation now runs seven interconnected businesses (four cafes, a catering company, an artisan bakery and a coffee roastery).
  • Cromwell STREAT will enable us to triple our turnover and triple the number of youth helped each year — to 365. It will also bring STREAT to the point of financial sustainability. This $6.5 million project has been a huge 3-year collaborative effort of major partners, philanthropists and supporters and once again involves a pioneering and award-winning impact investment component.
  • STREAT has been recognised as a strong Australian social enterprise innovator (winning Most Innovative Australian Social Enterprise 2013, Finalist in 2012 Cool Company Awards, winner of Melbourne’s 2013 Business 3000 Award in social enterprise, Finalist in the 2014 Ethical Enterprise, a winner in the 2015 Australian Social Enterprise Awards). CEO, Rebecca Scott, received the Victorian Local Hero Award for 2016 and has also received Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for 2016 from Ernst and Young and the Commonwealth Bank. 
  • Since 2010 STREAT has trained and supported over 800 young people, and they've helped serve meals and coffees to over 2 million customers - but we're just getting warmed up now. Cromwell STREAT will take us to 365 youth each year by 2019. And we've set ourselves a goal to be changing one life every mealtime by 2022. That's 1,095 young people each year.
  • STREAT has received many requests from across Australia and overseas to expand. Right now we're committed to deepening our model further across Melbourne and then Victoria. There's over 10,000 young people on our doorstep who really need our help, and we're determined to help as many as humanly possible. 
  • Right since the outset, the organisation has had the most extraordinary support from all areas of the community. As a team we want to say a HUGE THANK YOU for the continual group hug we've received. Our work is made possible by you. 

  Why we exist

  • Every night in Australia over 105,000 people are homeless.
  • 26,000 are aged from 12 to 24.
  • The majority of these youth will leave school before Year 10 with no formal education. 57% are destined for long-term unemployment.
  • $706,264 is the current cost of a young person remaining homeless across their life.
  • Their average life expectancy will be 47 years (compared to 82 years).


Young people who belong and are thriving with a healthy self, home and work.


Youth homelessness and disadvantage are hard to swallow. That’s why STREAT works with others like you to stop it, one mouthful at a time. Together we offer disadvantaged youth aged 16-25 a supported pathway from the street to a sustainable livelihood.

10 Year goal

We're striving to help a young person every single mealtime by 2022. That's one meal, one life. That's three youth a day, or 1095 youth each year. 


  • Discover – We believe in lifelong learning and discovery
  • Create – We tackle problems with imagination and passion
  • Nourish – Our meals nourish both our customers and youth
  • Connect – We bring ideas, individuals and communities together
  • Voice – We speak up
  • Sustain – We strive for sustainability in all our activities.

Social enterprise business model

Scaling is in our DNA. It's been what we've been trying to do since the outset.

Since 2010 we've scaled to be running a portfolio of seven hospitality businesses that are the location where our young people get their training and work experience, but also where we generate the funds to do this work. Over 70% of our revenue comes through our own earned business revenue, but we're aiming for complete financial self-sufficiency in 2020,  this will be our first major goal met - to be helping 365 young people each year and completely self-funded. Though we have dreams of helping way more young people, and want to be working with 1,095 young people each year by 2022.