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Turning the page to a new life

A Queens-based nonprofit that provides depressed or mentally ill people with skills for re-entering the workforce opened its first bookstore on Bell Boulevard earlier this month.

Turn the Page... Again, at 39-15 Bell Blvd. in Bayside, employs 14 workers who have had difficulty obtaining employment due to various forms of mental illness.

The used bookstore, which opened Feb. 1, is operated by Transitional Services for New York Inc., a nonprofit that provides jobs, counseling and housing for the mentally ill. The group is based out of Jamaica and has administrative offices in Whitestone.

“We give them opportunities for training, so they could go to work at Rite Aid or Barnes & Noble,” said Barbara Cohen, assistant associate director for TSI. “We help them beef up their résumés and give them job skills. We give them what they need to survive in the workplace and help them to be model employees.”

The group formerly operated a cafe — Arts and Carafes — on Jamaica Avenue at Sutphin Boulevard for the same purpose as the bookstore, but the restaurant is now under new ownership.

All books at the store will be $1 for the rest of the month. In March, customers will pay 50 percent off a book’s original price and will be paid 25 percent off the cover price for all donated books.

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