The Pullman Linking Center, pictured in 2017 while still under construction. (File photo)

Pullman Linking Center prepares for grand opening June 24

By: 
Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

The People Helping People Linking Center, a new youth and community center in Pullman, is hosting its grand opening celebration on Sunday, June 24, from 4 to 6 p.m.

The public is invited to join the Pullman community, People Helping People and their friends for a picnic-like atmosphere that includes dinner, a short program, lots of activities for the kids and tours of the Linking Center.

A few years ago, statistics were gathered showing the Pullman area had more than 2,500 children under the age of 18. The median age in the community was 23. It has some of the lowest property taxes in all of Michigan and is also one of the poorest communities in Allegan County.

Many of the services and amenities needed for a healthy community are lacking and it is estimated that 96 percent of the children at Pullman Elementary School qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Among this poverty, Pullman Love INC (In the Name of Christ) identified a gap in ministry and People Helping People sprung into action to provide it.

In December 2016, the groundbreaking for the Linking Center took place with the idea of changing the outcome of poverty for the upcoming generation.

The center will not only offer a secure place for youth to meet Christ and participate in after school activities, but a variety of programs to help the whole family. Basic courses such as welding and auto mechanics will be offered. Programs will include tutoring, job training and promoting family values.

A variety of organizations and nonprofits are partnering with People Helping People to provide job readiness and training including: Pullman Ministries’ Kids’ Ministry and Telamon Corporation, Michigan Works, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Allegan Country Technical and Education Center in Allegan.

 “The Linking Center will provide a safe environment for children and adults to grow, witness God’s love, have a sense of belonging and learn to make positive choices,” said executive director Carlos Lopez,

The Linking Center is at 925 56th St., Pullman. For more information, email phppullman@gmail.com or call (616) 298-0344.

Virginia Ransbottom can be contacted at vransbottom@allegannews.com or at (269) 673-5534.

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