MIDLAND Centrepoint’s much-loved Swan Friendship Cafe closed its doors for the final time on Friday afternoon.
The cafe offered training, employment and hope to young people with disabilities for almost a decade, but due to tough economic times and high costs, keeping it open was no longer sustainable.
Manager Maria Sorgiovanni said the heartbreaking decision was the only option.
“I have exhausted all avenues to try and find ongoing funding,” she said. “More than $10,000 was raised and I sincerely thank all those who donated.
“But in order to keep it open we needed closer to $40,000 or $50,000.”
Ms Sorgiovanni hoped the donated money could go towards starting again.
“The funds collected will be used wisely to assist young adults with special needs,” she said.
“And I hope that is in the form of a new cafe. If some kind person with a lot of money can see what a great cause this is and help us out, that would be fantastic.”
An emotional Ms Sorgiovanni thanked the community on the cafe’s Facebook page for all its support over the years.
“Thank you to my loyal staff and wonderful customers who came in and enjoyed our home-style cooking over the years,” her post said. “But most of all, I thank the young adults who came to work and taught me to be humble and appreciate what is important in life.
“It saddens me that they now ponder on what they will do after the cafe is closed.”