Cape Abilities Returns To Orleans!

Filed in Blog by on May 17, 2018

After performing a comprehensive assessment of our current program center in Eastham, it was determined that it was imperative to find a new home.  We are thrilled to return to the town where Cape Abilities was first established by eight dedicated families as Nauset Workshop in 1968!

The purchase of the former Masonic Building at 107 Main Street in Orleans (above) is the next step in the fulfillment of our strategic plan to ensure that it will offer state of the art program settings that ensure best clinical practice. This central location is ideal for program participants who will relocate from our Cochran Center in Eastham and will also be available for additional referrals from individuals in the area who want services that offer a range of opportunities for productive community engagement.

(l-r) Cape Abilities Associate Executive Director Tom Zurn, Nikki Carter from William Raveis Real Estate, Bob Fellows, Treasurer of Universal Masonic Lodge, Cape Abilities President/Executive Director Rosalie Edes, Cape Abilities Director of Day Habilitation Glenn Loomis

The agency worked closely with the members of Universal Masonic Lodge and particularly their Treasurer, Robert Fellows, to purchase this property. 

“When we made the strategic decision to sell the Masonic Building, we hoped it would find a use in keeping with our long tradition of charitable service in the community” Fellows noted.  “Cape Abilities moving here is wonderful for their clients and for the town. They bring jobs to Orleans, provide essential services for those in need and will be an excellent steward of the property.”

Universal Lodge is moving to the historic Northwest Schoolhouse property on Namskaket Road, commonly known as Odd Fellows Hall.  “We join the Rotary and other groups that have moved in with the Odd Fellows to share their grand old building,” Mr. Fellows reports.

The 107 Main Street property was the site of the original Southward Inn, which the Masons purchased in 1923.  In 1974 they completed the current building and razed the old inn that stood on what is now a sprawling green lawn.

Cape Abilities plans to do significant renovations to the building and will open this new Center by the summer of 2019.  This Center will make it possible for us to expand its Life Skills Day Habilitation program, which currently serves 32 individuals, and initiate Community Based Day Supports and Vocational programs to meet the growing demand for our services on the Lower Cape.   

Renovation planning for the approximately 7,000 square foot, two-story Orleans Center will ensure:

  • a welcoming and fully accessible environment with program and therapy rooms enhanced by natural lighting that accommodates the sensory needs of program participants,
  • inviting interior and exterior spaces for socialization and recreation,
  • an accessible kitchen and independent living area
  • private nursing, changing and physical therapy spaces
  • specialized quiet areas for therapy, sensory integration activities, reading and computer access
  • an art/projects room
  • and dedicated staff work stations

“Cape Abilities was originally founded as Nauset Workshop by parents who recognized that their community overwhelmingly focused on disability and not capability,” notes Dr. James Taylor, a member of the Cape Abilities Board of Directors, whose son, Jonathan, is a Cape Abilities program participant. “Today, we are a community of hardworking staff and dedicated Board members, whose focus is creating a greater public awareness of our mission and helping our participants achieve happy and valued lives in their communities.”

“We have worked hard to get to this day and we have only achieved this because we have been blessed with strong community support”, stated Rosalie Edes, President and Executive Director of Cape Abilities.  “In 2015, we set our priorities and promised the families of the Lower Cape that we would re-locate our critically needed services to a building and a location that would enhance our services and create opportunities.  We are dedicating our 50th year to ensuring that we are “Changing Lives and Growing Futures” and this new site in Orleans will make this happen. We look forward to being active contributing members of the Orleans community for years to come.”

Comments are closed.