ELLINWOOD The Fire Escape Coffee House is set to reopen on April 6 with a new, improved interior, more open hours, a new executive director and new appliances for coffee.
The Fire Escape once served youth, but the focus has changed. "We want to attract all ages," said Kelcie Exline, executive director. "But we still have a heart for youth."
The new hours will be from 7-10 p.m. on Friday with worship and discussion, and Saturday from 7-11 a.m. and Saturday evening from 7-10 p.m. Saturday evening events such as bands will be scheduled.
With a broadened vision, the front portion of the Fire Escape will be geared toward community members, and the back portion will be geared for youth. In the past, the Fire Escape was open on Friday and Saturday evenings. It opened almost five years ago, but has been closed since
An emphasis will also be developing a relationship with the youth. "We want to have a daily relationship with youth," said Exline. In the past, with the volunteers rotating in and out, relationships were hard to develop, Exline said.
Exline just graduated from Southern Nazarene University with a Theology major. She also sings and has been working on a CD. Half of the proceeds will go towards fighting child slavery. She also has worked as a teacher in the Great Bend Church of the Nazarene.
Kathy DeWerff, member of the board of directors, said that they had gotten into a rut and needed a new direction with input from someone younger.
She is looking forward to the reopening. "It will be exciting to get back with more focus," she said.