Downtown Atlanta kiosk offers safety solution for water boys

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 6:19 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - There is a new twist to the trend of selling water on the streets of Atlanta. A local nonprofit called “Helping Empower Youth” is working with the city to help inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“We thought that it would be a great way to have a safer space for at least some of the young me to be able to sell water or other things that they were interested in versus at corners and at intersections and so we’re excited to be a part of that and to be able to offer them a safer place to do what they’ve already done,” Helping Empower Youth Founder Kacey Venning said.

For many years, there have been safety concerns associated with teens selling water on street corners. Now, a local charity is giving them a new opportunity.

“Really, we wanted them to see that they’re not limited to just selling water at the corner, that there is a whole world that is open to them around retail space, commerce, marketing and who knows you may find part of it that really piques your professional interest in years to come,” Venning said.

The nonprofit decided to open this kiosk in downtown Atlanta and allow approximately 25 water boys to sell water and other snacks here. The program has even allowed the teens to create and sell their own brand of water called “Hey Hydrate.”

“I think this is a really good opportunity to not only give them a safer place to do it but also with that long-term goal of entrepreneurship, business, marketing and giving them something more concrete instead of just hustling on the street,” Water customer Shanita Sheppard said.