This “different kind of coffeehouse” is a joint project of the Princeton Presbyterian Church, Chambers Memorial Presbyterian Church and New Avenue Foundation. It will primarily serve as a gathering and safe place for young and old people with disabilities, including autism, Aspergers, etc., and will promote social interaction.
We formed this business/project on 10/9/14 in a meeting we had at Chambers Memorial Presbyterian Church in Rutledge PA. Jim Wurster, Pastor Pam McShane and Ginny Warmerdam discussed the idea. We also met with the Session on 11/5/14 to discuss.
We formed this project as a way to help make the lives of people with disabilities more meaningful. We are mostly targeting the local community. There are many people with disabilities in PA who lack waiver funding to provide services for them. 85% of people with disabilities do not have a job. This can mean that these people with disabilities sit at home most of the time. Our idea is to provide something for people with disabilities that they would otherwise not have.
We hope to run our coffeehouse in the gift economy.
There will be a structured activity scheduled each time the coffeehouse will be open. This will typically be followed by a meal where we will all sit down together. The music will then start at 7:30 and last for an hour.
The place will have a comfy, homey feel in which the young adults can come to:
- chill out
- have a meal as a community
- play a game
- listen to live music
- sing along
- dance (line dancing)
- tell jokes, have skits, play charades, watch magic
- do physical activities (Zumba)
Our facilities are not ADA compliant at this time. However, we are wheelchair accessible. This will limit the ability of people with mobility issues from attending.
We are suggesting that a parent, guardian or staff attend, if needed, at least the 1st event so that we can get to know the participant. We are doing this for two reasons. One is that since we are not a service provider, we are not equipped to handle certain behaviors that could occur. In order to make this a safe place, we need to learn who the participants are. That is also the purpose of an intake form we will send each participant of our events. This will need to be completed and returned to us in order to be officially registered for the event. We hope this doesn’t offend anyone, but we need to ensure that everyone who comes to our coffeehouse will be safe.
The second reason we want a parent or guardian to attend is to provide a venue in which you can actively participate with your child and also socialize with other parents. Parents meeting other parents is extremely important so that we can learn from one another.
We will be running our coffeehouse for a month or so under the gifting model. Then, we will evaluate where we are. We don’t want to loose money but we also don’t want to make money. We want to break even and provide value to people with disabilities.