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Louisville bookstore gives back to families in need, hopes to provide a ‘living room for everyone’

The Rosewater, which opens on Saturday, aims to connect neighbors and help low-income families with basic needs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — For the last decade, a building in the Beechmont neighborhood has sat vacant. On Saturday, that former TV repair shop will open as a second-hand bookstore - and so much more.

South Louisville Community Ministries, which provides emergency assistance and advocacy for low-income families in crisis, partnered with the non-profit BookWorks to open The Rosewater on the corner of South 3rd and Woodlawn Avenue. The once-empty space has been filled with stocked bookshelves, comfortable chairs, and artwork from local artists. According to Elizabeth Senn-Alvey, the Executive Director of the Emerging Workforce Initiative, this “living room” feel is exactly what the founders wanted from this space.

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“It really just has that feel of a community space and that’s what we wanted to create,” she said. “A place where people, whether they’re from the neighborhood or they’re just curious about what we’re doing here, they feel comfortable coming in and just making themselves at home.”

The Rosewater wants to invite neighbors into this community space this weekend. The bookstore is hosting a Grand Opening celebration on Saturday, Feb. 15 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 16 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Door prizes and refreshments will be available as you browse the store’s varied collection.

For those looking for a new book to snuggle up with, The Rosewater is just the place. From books on travel to classic literature to fiction, there’s something for everyone. Adult books start at $5 and all children’s books are $1. The store also sells trinkets, collectors’ items, records, and more.

If you purchase a book or two, you are in turn giving back to the Beechmont community. All of the store’s proceeds are used to help low-income families and youth in the area by providing them with emergency basic needs and workforce training.

“The social enterprise is a market-driven approach to addressing unmet needs in the community and to empower individuals,” said Clare Wallace, the Executive Director of South Louisville Community Ministries. “Through empowerment, we can set people on a path to long-term stability and, in turn, inspire them to also give back either through The Rosewater or other important community efforts.”

Credit: WHAS

Outside of selling books, the store offers a job training program and encourages the community to use the space as a place to connect with their neighbors. Inside the shop, you will find message boards where you can give your suggestions on what you’d like to see at the store or write about your favorite book. Wallace said they are always open to suggestions, especially from those in the Beechmont community.

“Our slogan is ‘It’s for the community, from the community,’ so it’s not just my vision, it’s everybody’s,” she said.

If you would like to help with the mission of The Rosewater, they are always looking for donations. You can drop off books at the store or donate money online. For more information, visit The Rosewater website.

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