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A Tale of Three Centers

April 25, 2016 by Lara Jakubowski1

When I’m traveling, I like to stop by and visit our members when I can. To date, I’ve visited 41 different nonprofit centers around the US and Canada – of course, Denver has a slew of shared spaces, so it’s easy to rack up the numbers. Most recently I was in Northern Kentucky, and I stopped by The Clearinghouse, cSpace, and The Plantory in an epic shared space road trip.

The Clearinghouse in Madison, IN The Clearinghouse in Madison, IN

The Clearinghouse is located in Madison, IN, a town with a population just over 12,000, which makes it the most rural of the spaces that I’ve visited. A human services driven space spearheaded by River Valley Resources, The Clearinghouse opened just over two years ago, and is now home to services ranging from workforce development to adult education to youth advocacy.  One of the shining stars among their tenant partners is an all-volunteer-run food pantry called House of Hope, formed through a partnership of nineteen local churches. House of Hope is often a person’s first interaction with The Clearinghouse, and volunteers have a client-centered intake approach where they often uncover needs that they can’t meet directly – but their partners at The Clearinghouse can!

CSpace in Lexington, KY CSpace in Lexington, KY

My second stop was cSpace in Lexington, KY, an open-concept coworking space created by the Foundation for a Health Kentucky. cSpace has a drop-in membership model where people can access not only workspace, printing, and wi-fi, but also ample storage space. Another great asset at cSpace is the ample convening space housed within the building. Their largest space can easily hold up to 100 people for a conference or a training, and cSpace members have priority access.

The Plantory is an Epic space located in Lexington, KY The Plantory is an Epic space located in Lexington, KY

Finally, I headed to The Plantory, another open concept coworking space, but this time in Lexington. What makes The Plantory unique is their strong commitment to social justice. Located in a gentrifying neighborhood, the staff of The Plantory actively work with the community to make it known that their space is not part of the movement to push people out, but is a place where community groups and neighborhood residents can meet and organize. You can even find neighborhood kids playing ping pong at The Plantory after school lets out.

I’m always so inspired by what I see and learn when I’m out visiting our members. Thanks to Molly Dodge at The Clearinghouse, Alexa Kerley at cSpace, and Angela Baldridge at The Plantory for taking the time out of their busy days to show me around.  You can see additional photos of all three spaces by visiting our Facebook page.


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About Our Blogger:

Lara Jakubowski

Lara is the Executive Director at the Nonprofit Centers Network and has worked with nonprofits and their real estate projects for 18 years. Most recently she was the principal in LWJ Consulting LLC, a consulting practice that focused on shared space, shared services, business planning, facility planning and fundraising. Since 2006 she has worked with over forty Metro Denver nonprofits to evaluate and grow their impact in the community.

One comment

  • Susan G. Zepeda

    April 27, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks so much for visiting (c)space…just want your readers to know we’re based in Louisville, not Lexington. We invite others in the area to stop by and check out the offices and open workspace – as well as the conference, board room and videoconference opportunities! Hope to see you soon. To schedule a visit, please contact Mary Jo Shircliffe or Alexa Kerley at 502-326-2583.


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