Cray Youth & Family Services has spent nearly thirty years working to “make life better for kids” in New Castle and Lawrence County. Now, our agency is taking a new approach: working to improve the community in which our children live. To that end, we are pleased to announce our intent to open a new coffee house in downtown New Castle, at the site of the former JCPenney building at 214 E. Washington Street.
The new coffee house will be called “The Confluence.” Cray chose the name from more than 200 contest submissions.
“We see this coffee house as a place where the community can come together,” says David Copper, Executive Director of Cray Youth & Family Services. “The name just makes sense.”
Cray envisions The Confluence as a place that fosters a sense of community, where residents can come together and engage each other. Mr. Copper believes one of the keys to revitalizing the New Castle area is to have a vibrant downtown, one with places for people to come together. He hopes The Confluence will address both of these issues.
“Cray has been dealing with the ramifications of a declining community for many years,” says Copper. “When our community fails, it fails our children. Cray has provided services and programs to at-risk kids in the hope that they could become productive members of our community. We have not been able to keep up with the demand for our services. The number of struggling people our community produces is outpacing the ability of social services to help. In other words, we seem to be losing the battle.
“If we don’t take a new and different approach, I fear the consequences. So rather than only continue to respond to the needs of kids who already have a lot of problems in a declining community, we are also turning our attention to helping the community in general become healthier.”
The Confluence will offer a variety of beverages and fresh food at competitive prices. It will also feature community “programming,” with projects such as artist & gallery space, and after-school programs for kids being discussed.
Cray tapped Adam Treelisky to oversee The Confluence, naming him General Manager. Mr. Treelisky says the goal of The Confluence is to become more than just a coffee house:
“Our agenda is simple. With a philanthropic opportunity, we plan on setting ourselves apart from the average coffee house by incorporating and assisting the surrounding community.”
The project is currently in the design phase. Construction will begin soon, and The Confluence is set to open in Spring 2013. All this is being made possible by Mr. Paul Lynch, who has generously provided the E. Washington location for the nominal fee of $1 per year.
Those interested in the new coffee house can follow its progress at www.crayyouth.org/news.