'We’re here to serve:' Friendship Circle art studio and cafe opens in Fox Point to help people of all abilities
FOX POINT, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The room at Friendship Circle Thursday night was full of people who were there to support a dream.
"When we thought of this idea, it was a distant dream. It was just an idea which cost a fortune, and we had no idea how this would happen, and it was literally miracle after miracle," said Levi Stein Executive Director at Friendship Circle of Wisconsin.
Friendship Circle of Wisconsin's mission is to create a vibrant community of fulfilled and diverse individuals. The non-profit does that through a number of programs like Friends@Home where teen volunteers spend time with children with special needs at their home; the Inclusion Club where kids of all abilities come together for activities; and Adult Friendship Circle, a program that serves adults with special needs through friendships and social opportunities with other adults.
They are also focusing on inclusion in their latest venture, the Friendship Circle of Wisconsin cafe and art studio.
"We’re here to help, we’re here to serve, and to give a real opportunity for adults with special needs a place to feel included and productive members of society," said Stein.
The Friendship Circle is located in the Riverpoint Village Shopping Center at 8649 North Port Washington Road. It includes a bakery, cafe, and art studio.
"The bakery will be more employment training for adults with special needs. Once they graduate from the program, they get to work in the coffee shop or they get to move onto companies outside of Friendship Circle," said Stein.
The kitchen is still currently under construction. The entire project, Stein says, was only possible because of the community.
"Every chandelier, every light bulb, every tile, everything was from support of our community, so it’s really special," he said.
It's a place where Ami Kramer can come with her mom and sister.
"Even if she's yelling and having a bad day, no one's really going to bat an eye because the whole point is to make it inclusive," said Randi Kramer.
"Friendship Circle is vital to our population, they are the forgotten population," added Holli Kramer.
Stein say sin order for Friendship Circle to continue being a success, they need help from the community.
"So come on in, grab a cup of coffee," he said, "And just support the mission."
For more information on Friendship Circle including donations and volunteer opportunities, click here.