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Benson café offers anyone a place to warm up

Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 12:47 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A Benson business owner is hoping to start a trend of goodness across the Omaha metro. This week, Rachel Evans put a sign outside of her cafe, Edge of the Universe, that says “It’s too cold. All are welcome to warm up here. Come on in.”

Evans says she decided to more publicly offer up her space after noticing a lot of people waiting outside for the bus last weekend when Saturday’s temperatures were in the teens and Sundays in the single digits.

“I kept telling them over the weekend ‘just come in, come in!’” said Evans. “And they were like ‘I don’t have any money’ and I was like ‘I don’t care, it’s freezing out here!’”

And with the cold weather sticking around, Evans says - paying customer or not -her café is a place where anyone, no matter their background or current situation, can escape the bitter cold temperatures.

“We want people to come in, stay all day if you want. Just be warm and be healthy,” said Evans. “We value human life. The name Edge of the Universe is because we have a theory that if everyone sat at the edge of the universe we’d all be equal together, so everyone that comes in this door, every person should feel welcome, should feel glad that they’re here, and feel warmth inside and out.”

Evans and co-owner Adam Vanosdel opened Edge of the Universe in October, right in the middle of the pandemic, and even with business slower than they’d hoped, they don’t hesitate to help those in need.

“We’ve had a lot of persons experiencing homelessness and they come in and they know they can get a cup of water here, they can get coffee here, they can get food here, they can get whatever they need, even if it is to just to warm up they know they can come here,” she said.

She went on to say the “all are welcome” policy speaks to the spirit and attitude of the Benson area and she’s happy to be a part of it.

“Benson is incredibly inclusive, it wants people to be here, it celebrates people exactly who they are and we love every person who comes in our door and we’re so grateful for them.”

Evans wants other businesses to follow her lead.

“We honestly hope that other businesses see this and they understand the importance and we want it just to be an outreach through all of Omaha.”

The sign will stay up in front of the café as long as it’s cold, but Evans says the policy sticks around no matter the weather.

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