Community opens arms as Caf (c) at 407 opens its doors
It's been an idea for more than five years, but now Caf (c) at 407 is a reality for Ophelia's Place in Liverpool. The community organization has been known since 2002 as a warm cozy safe haven for all those affected by eating disorders.
Because Ophelia's Place relies solely on donations and grant funding, the members of the non-profit wanted to find a new way to generate revenue to keep its doors open.
"With the way the economy is, we thought we should get creative," said Mary Ellen Clausen, executive director of Ophelia's Place.
For years, Clausen said the organization and its members have dreamed of opening a caf (c) that would be located next door to Ophelia's Place. However, their original Liverpool location on Second Street was too small and in need of more renovations if a caf (c) was to be opened.
The current location at 407 Tulip St. in Liverpool has opportunities for the organization's future goals, such as the caf (c). Clausen said the organization has called this new location home since 2005.
While Clausen said the new digs were bigger and more spacious, there were still much-needed renovations waiting in the wings. Thanks to a grant the organization received from Sen. John DeFransisco's office, Clausen said the team began renovating from the back of the space to the front.
"It's really been about the planning and the overall view of the organization," Clausen said.
Since grant money isn't always a guarantee, Clausen said the board of directors was pleased to open the caf (c) because it will not only generate revenue for the programs but it's another "safe and inviting" place for people in need of support.
"We know there's a need for it [Ophelia's Place]," Clausen said. "But we needed to find a way to sustain it."