Freedom a la Cart is stepping out into our first mini café. That’s right! We’re increasing our footprint in Columbus. Fans of Freedom will soon be able to visit us at the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s new Northside Branch.
The sleek, glass-front Northside Branch is not the library of the bygone days. The exciting space feels more like a modern community center with light infused work stations, large gathering areas, meeting spaces, reading rooms, and plenty of public computers. The setting screams for a bold cup of joe and fresh-baked pastry. It’s the perfect place to introduce a Freedom a la Cart mini café and we are overjoyed and honored to be partnering with the Friends of the Library in this new venture.
I grew up in poverty, living in the Bottoms on the Westside of Columbus. Both my mother and step-dad were alcoholics and addicts. The smell of marijuana and empty beer bottles on the table was the norm in my home. I can’t remember ever having a real schedule in my home; it was very dysfunctional and unpredictable. Education was one of the many fatalities of this war of life I lived. I got into drugs at an early age, and my mother signed papers for me to drop out of school. I guess you could say my upbringing was training for the life of human trafficking that would eventually choose me for its dirty deeds. I was a young girl with no true direction in my life, with no positive role models to help me find my way. Looking back, I see what my human traffickers must have seen when they coerced me into that life – easy prey.
At Freedom a la Cart we are inspired every day by our employees. It’s a privilege to be a part of their journeys of healing, independence and self-sufficiency. Stephanie, a CATCH Court graduate and Freedom employee, has graciously volunteered to share a little bit about her experiences as a survivor of human trafficking and her work with Freedom. Here is her story:
Imagine walking into a pastry shop and becoming overwhelmed with all the delectable looking treats and enticing smells. You wander over to the cakes and cookies and your mouth starts to water, then you gaze upon the eclairs and you can barely hold yourself back. Finally, you come across something that you just cannot pass up: macaroons.