LIMA — Ever since Cortesha Cowan left Lima, she’s been thinking about coming back and helping the people of her hometown.
Cowan, 34, was born and raised in Lima and then moved to Columbus, where she later started a resource center for young mothers.
Now, she wants to bring that concept to Lima with The Lima Empowerment Center.
Slated to open in early April, the center will offer a variety of services for young women ages 12 to 25 in Lima, though Cowan wants to have programs for entire families as well.
Cowan has rented a building in downtown Lima, at 608 W. High St., and plans to offer day care, free clothing for women and babies, and empowerment workshops, at least at first. She has high aspirations for the center.
“We’re trying to incorporate a lot of things in that one building,” she said.
Eventually, she plans to use the upstairs apartment spaces in the building for baby proofing demonstrations, cooking classes and more.
“It’s been pulling on my heart strings to bring it back,” Cowan said. “I’ve always wanted to come home.”
The center is funded through Cowan, fundraising and various dues, she said.
People have been calling her and asking her to bring her services to Lima, she said, as she’s even had women travel from Lima to Columbus for the transitional housing and other services she offers there.
“I just think it needs some more emplowerment down there, it needs to get back to the heart of what we were, which is a strong city,” she said. “These girls need extra guidance outside of school and outside of the home.”
Cowan wants to help young women become self-sufficient and not have to depend on the government for help.