As Seattle's first social realtor, every sale with Chapman Homes helps a person in need at no additional cost to you. See how it works HERE.
Congrats to my clients RJ and Carolyn!! It was such a pleasure helping you find a home in the Emerald City. I really enjoyed getting to know you a bit and hearing about your mission and the deep care you have for the place you inhabit.
Thanks to your home purchase, you have become a HERO to a person in need by helping a marginalized teen (see story below) find a sense of dignity through Chapman Homes Partnership with Street Bean Coffee.
Street Bean does far more than just prepare and serve coffee for anyone who visits. This is a coffee shop that offers the building blocks necessary for disenfranchised youth—a demographic of Seattle’s population often ignored—to get back on their feet.
Chernogradskaia is a Russian refugee—and a queer woman of color—seeking political asylum here in the United States. Her story is a poignant example of how meaningful opportunities like those afforded by Street Bean can be.
Russia’s extreme social and political climate made life for Chernogradskaia not only dangerous but life-threatening. Seeking a way out, Chernogradskaia came to the United States as an exchange student, and when the program ended, she decided to stay. Having settled initially in Bozeman, Montana, where she still felt visibly different than the surrounding community, she then decided to explore Seattle.
“I heard Seattle was one of the most tolerable cities for people of color to live in, so I moved,” said Chernogradskaia.
For six months, Chernogradskaia lived in multiple homeless shelters before she was led to New Horizons, and eventually an apprenticeship at Street Bean. “I was really concerned about working here, at first, though I didn’t have a choice. In Russia, there’s no good coffee. I thought I hated coffee, but that was because I’d never tried good coffee,” she admits.
She remembers her manager serving her an espresso and latte for the first time. “Oh my god.” I watched as her face lit up and she mimed worshipping two invisible coffee cups. “It was so good. I fell in love with coffee. I ended up drinking way too much for a whole month after.”
Unlike Harris, who plans to finish a college degree in accounting and pursue a career in finance, Chernogradskaia wants to stay in coffee.
“I want to be a barista competitor,” she says with confidence. “Slate [Coffee Roasters] is my favorite shop, and it would be amazing to work there after my apprenticeship.”
Hearing Chernogradnskaia’s story led me to a realization I always knew but was experiencing for the first time with Street Bean: coffee is truly a beverage of massive impact, and it does not conform to any singular way of pursuit. Coffee is scientific, technical, social, and political. To people like Ynga Chernogradskaia, Anthony Harris, others in the Street Bean family, and me, coffee is an opportunity for a better life.
Chernogradskaia beams when she talks about Street Bean. “It’s amazing all of the opportunities they give you to learn about coffee. I’m happier now. I have friends. I have a job. I have a home.”
Matthew Chapman works hard to make your home buying or selling experience enjoyable and gives part of every commission to help a person in need.