By Delani Griffin
Located in Downtown Eugene on Pearl St. is Ophelia’s Place, identified as a “prevention-based organization dedicated to helping girls make life choices through empowerment, education, and support.” Ophelia’s Place is a place for girls to go spend time, join clubs, participate in classes, and they are given the option to receive therapy on a sliding scale.
At Ophelia’s the environment is upbeat, joyful, and comforting. Girls ages 10-18 are able to meet each other, share experiences, and learn new skills. From 3-6, Monday through Thursday, any girls are welcome to go to drop in for snacks, games, crafts, and classes. Along with drop-in, there are classes like Grrrlz Rock for girls to explore musical talents, study club, Dungeons & Dragons club, Women’s Advisory Council for Youth (WACY) group, and many more.
All of the activities and people build the warm environment of Ophelia’s Place. With colorful walls, comfy couches, and an ever-growing crafted tree at the heart of the room, most girls never want to leave. There are different areas throughout Ophelia’s Place for whatever you want to do: a chill-out room to read, a hangout room for games or art, and the downstairs is dedicated to music groups. Ophelia’s Place is for all different kinds of girls from every background.
Many of the girls at Ophelia’s Place have been using these services for years which has helped them grow into unique young women. Grace S. started attending Ophelia’s Place about 3 years ago because OP is “A place that I can come after school… hang out with girls… de-stress about family problems or stuff going on at school and in my life.” Grace also likes how welcoming the space is, and how helpful the interns can be when you need someone to confide in. Grace’s first group at Ophelia’s was a running group, and after that, she never stopped coming back.
Along with the interns, supervisors, and counselors, Ophelia’s Place would be nothing without the girls that attend. Tawny S. is a young woman who has been going to Ophelia’s Place since she was 11 years old and is now 18. Tawny’s favorite things to do at Ophelia’s Place are arts and crafts, and her first class at OP was a Zumba class. Tawny returns to drop-ins every day because Ophelia’s Place is, “Safety, comfort, and a hangout [place].” The girls all range from different ages but spending time together creates friendships, memories, and valuable lessons that they may have missed out on without Ophelia’s Place.