Recovering alcoholic hopes delivering beer will get him off the streets

It seems an unlikely place to work after battling alcoholism, but 20-year-old Keanen Fawcett is hoping a job at Beau's All Natural Brewing Co. will be just the ticket to get him off the streets.

Homeless for the past four years, the Ottawa man is applying to deliver beer to area homes after the brewery paired up with Operation Come Home, an agency that tries to get young homeless individuals back on their feet.

Now recovering from his addiction, Fawcett credits the agency with boosting his self-esteem and encouraging him to move forward. He told the CBC he wouldn't let the brewery job interfere with his recovery.

"Booze will be everywhere, almost for the rest of your life," he said. "To me, it's just about willpower."

The new service launches on Nov. 24, and will kick off with three workers in a company van taking the 100 km trip from the Vankleek Hill, Ont. to deliver to downtown Ottawa homes.

Customers order online and will pay a $15 delivery fee at the door. The fee goes to Operation Come Home, which will use the money to fund its program and provide a salary to the workers.

Executive director Elspeth McKay says she hopes the initiative will help the brewery expand its delivery service, which will in turn provide more employment opportunities for the agency, and that the program's success encourages other local businesses to follow suit.

"The purpose of the business is to make money and provide employment opportunities to homeless youth," she said. "We're doing it a bit differently than somebody else might do, but quite frankly, I think this model is far more innovative than most of the other models I've seen in Ottawa."

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