COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A vacant property in a mostly vacant south Columbus block is getting a major facelift, with the aim of helping the community in several ways.

At its last meeting, Columbus City Council approved $75,000 for what is going to be the South End Café. Organizers said the money should cover most of the project’s construction costs.

There are some holes in the walls and clearly, a lot of work is left to be done.

“But when I look over the plans and I see what we’re going to do to this place, I’m really excited,” said Mike Premo, director of engagement for Community Development for All People, the non-profit putting the project together.

In just a few months, the property should be a coffee shop, but not just any coffee shop.

Premo said the café has three goals: be a nice place in the area for people to gather, increase access to healthy and affordable food, and provide job opportunities for those who are having a tough time finding work.

“Whether they’re people getting out of prison or just people who have been out of work for a long time, we know the hardest part about getting a job is having a job,” he said.

Premo expects 30 to 50 people a year to work at the coffee shop, saying they’ll also go through other training and be connected with other potential future employers.

“With this building came an opportunity to create a new format where folks can get a job, get trained on the job, and then leverage that to an even better job down the road,” Premo said.

As of now, the plan is for the café to be open in February.

“The people we’ve talked to up and down Parsons and throughout the south side are really excited we’re going to be taking this vacant place that isn’t much to look at and turning it into a real jewel and the crown of Parsons Avenue,” Premo said.