A new coffee shop is opening in Springfield. But besides locally roasted and high-quality coffee, Social Grounds Coffee Company is bringing something new to the counter. They hire veterans who are transitioning out of homelessness.

With that, they give a certain percentage of revenue to local ministries, like the Clara White Mission and the Sulzbacher Center.

Jason Kelloway, owner of Social Grounds, began his charity work three and a half years ago with a simple ministry called Cup of Love. On Wednesday mornings, he served coffee and donuts to the homeless. But it’s not only sustenance that they get from Kelloway. He also gives them someone to talk to, and tries to get them on a better path in whatever way he can.

Kelloway is passionate about this because he used to be in their shoes.

“I myself transitioned out of homelessness and created this to reach back and help others.” He was addicted to drugs and living out of his car for a year and a half after being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps.

He has lived in Springfield for a year and half and calls it the “hidden jewel” of Jacksonville. He’s always been a local, previously living in Atlantic and Jacksonville Beach. Opening a brick-and-mortar coffee shop to give back to the city has always been a dream.

Choosing Springfield as the place to fulfill this dream was easy. “They really love you and support you,” he said of the community.

The grand opening of Social Grounds Coffee Company is on May 20. The shop is located at 7th and Main Street in Historic Springfield.

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