OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – A West Douglas County nonprofit is celebrating its growth on Thursday.
After 17 years of helping families with food, clothing, rent and utilities, the Christian Outreach Program at Elkhorn, or COPE, is working from its own building.
COPE is the only outreach agency serving far western Douglas County. For the past two and a half years, they have shared a building with the Open Door Mission donation center serving families in a very small space.
COPE now has a new home, a 2600 square foot facility in downtown Elkhorn.
“It’s just remarkable how much space we have, how much more we can do, how much we can offer the families we serve,” said Jim Tomanek.
The non-profit organization opened here earlier this month. There is a reception, check-in station and training room. There is also space in their new building for confidential counseling.
“We ask personal questions if they are addicted to anything, if they are drug addicts or alcoholics, whoever they are, whatever services they need, we want to help them find help,” Jim said.
Jim Tomanek is the Executive Director of COPE. Jim is excited about what might seem like the little things about the extra space.
“We were able to put things on pallets now, which we had never been able to do before, we had to move them one box at a time. In buildings we were before we always had a door within a door and that was it and people were trying to bring things in to give away while people were trying to take things out,” Jim said.
Dale Johnson has been a COPE volunteer for six years. Now he has a place to take a break from working in the warehouse.
“And we have a nice break room, you’ve seen all kinds of stuff for volunteers and staff,” Dale said.
“We’ve never been able to get a break room for our staff or volunteers and it’s nice to take a break once in a while and sit down,” Jim said.
The warehouse provides plenty of space for people to drop by and donate, and despite what some people think there is a need for help in West Douglas County.
“There are pockets of low-income families in the West that we serve, we serve about 450 families,” Jim said.
Now COPE will have a lot more space to help all those western families who need food, clothing or other help.
COPE officials say it cost about $125,000 to renovate the building that was once a cabinet shop.
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