Blended Life Center opens inside Euphoric Stage

Published 9:20 am Wednesday, February 20, 2019

NILES — Fewer things are more restorative than talking about one’s problems over a cup of hot coffee or tea. At least, that is the philosophy of a newly opened nonprofit organization on Broadway Street in Niles.

Blended Life Center opened earlier this month inside of Euphoric Stage, located at 1011 Broadway Suite #7 in Niles. The nonprofit is being run by Executive Director Kimberly D. Savage, Chief Financial Officer Alicia Koch and Project Manager Drew Bushouse. According to its leadership, Blended Life will be a center that welcomes people from all walks of life to discuss their needs over a hot beverage and offers programs and mentoring to help individuals find resources they need in the community.

“It’s a lot easier to talk over a cup of coffee because people don’t have to just come in and tell you their problems,” Savage said. “We’ve created an environment that is welcoming to all walks of life. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you are going now. It’s about where can we meet you so that we can help redeem, restore and revitalize an individual.”

Programs to be offered at the center include job readiness, life skills workshops, tutoring, after-school programs and more. Savage added that there would also be computer stations coming to the center so that individuals can use them to work on resumes and building work skills.

Both Koch and Savage said they hope the programs offered by Blended Life will improve the lives of people living in Berrien County, cut down on recidivism and create a welcoming environment in the city of Niles.

“If you invest in lives, no matter where anyone is at, it brings local growth,” Savage said. “When you invest in someone to have a second chance or to even get them on their feet for the first time, everyone matters.”

“When people are happy, the community thrives,” Koch added.

Koch and Savage began collaborating on Blended Life after they were referred to one another due to Savage’s vision for Blended Life mirroring the mission of Koch’s Euphoric Stage, a community art center dedicated to helping people find happiness through the arts. Now, the pair said the ultimate goal for Blended Life and Euphoric Stage would be to merge the two in a larger building so that people can be healed both through Blended Life’s programs and Euphoric Stage’s arts.

“Our plans just naturally fit in together,” Koch said. “I just do the art side of it. We have been developing the Blended Life idea for a while, so it seemed like a good idea to merge them.”

Now that Blended Life is up and running in the community, both Koch and Savage said they are excited to see the impact it has on the lives of people in Niles and Berrien County.

“We know that there is a need in the area, and we wanted to create a center that they could come to and that they would feel welcomed to come to and not judged,” Savage said. “Everyone is welcome here. That is the foundation of it.”

Blended Life Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Koch recommended making an appointment at (269) 340-1053.