MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — A food truck and coffee cafe in Murfreesboro is employing adults with disabilities or other employment barriers.
Right now, 100% of the employees have a disability, and Liberty’s Station is helping them find their purpose.
Liberty’s Station is a place where you can enjoy the best grilled cheese in town, made by adults with disabilities, all while supporting those individuals who have previously been considered unemployable.
“Our main staff is adults with disabilities. Right now, 100% of our paid interns do have some form of disability. A lot of them, you would never notice when you walk in just to come to eat some great gourmet grilled cheese. But some do have Down syndrome, the majority have some form of autism,” said Judy Powers, founding executive director for Liberty’s Station.
Powers said it all started nine years ago when she noticed there was a gap between these individuals who want to work versus businesses around town that would give them a chance.
“I didn’t think much, but God just gave this vision of having a job training center, where they can learn hands-on with customers, in not just one field, but multiple fields. That way, we can find out what their gifts and interests are and plug them into that, not just giving them a job to do and they’re not being fulfilled,” Powers said.
The grand opening was last November.
Liberty’s Station is now serving 15 adults through hands-on job training and placement by preparing them for long-term employment in the community.
“It means a lot to me. It’s the work I can call my home away from home,” said Daniel Harrison, an intern at Liberty’s Station.
“It’s just a great environment, and we just love having as many people as we can. This has been the best place I could be yet,” said Cameron Snow, another intern at Liberty’s Station.
“Getting to work with everyone here. Everyone has been so nice and supportive,” said Liberty’s Station intern Matea Day.
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“They feel like they finally have a purpose. A lot of them say these are the only friends they have. One intern, in particular, is so good about writing thank you letters, and one that she wrote me was ‘Thank you for turning me into somebody that I always wanted to be.’ So it means a lot,” said Powers.
All of the employees want the public to know that they are “fueled by potential!”
“It’s very fulfilling to see their progress. We have been blown away by how well they’ve taken to the schedule, being responsible, and just learning the things that they need to learn. It just motivates us even more, to help more people and add more training ideas and just get the word out about what we’re trying to do,” Powers said.
Liberty’s Station said it will be a constant rotation of interns coming in and out as the current interns get placed, but because they’re mainly funded by individuals in the community, they are always looking for donations.
If you’d like to help support and continue their mission, to learn the many different ways you can help, click here.