New Community Center Will Bring Essentials to Benton Heights



Construction will begin in spring of 2022 on a Community Resource Center in the heart of Benton Heights that aims to increase the overall well-being for neighborhood residents. The new building, which will include a laundromat, and host human and social services, such as financial coaching, career services, and health consultations, will be open to anyone who wants to access services available. 


“Right now there is no access to these types of resources in Benton Heights,” says Chris Britton Executive Director of New Heights Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). “This will be a beacon of hope for people who live there.”


New Heights CCDA, operators of the center, believe the center will help increase the quality of life in a community just northeast of Benton Harbor. “Benton Heights is a vibrant community of hard-working residents who unfortunately face significant barriers such as income inequality, high unemployment, and the lowest life expectancy in Berrien County.”


Joselyn Pedroza, Benton Heights resident says “The Laundry Hub will be a great asset to our community. Not only will our neighbors have a clean and safe place to take care of their laundry needs, but it will also allow a significant opportunity to come together to build community by bringing resources in collective action to address some of the challenges our community faces.”


A key to the community center's impact is the partnerships that New Heights has developed with local human service agencies, such as Kinexus, Summit For Financial Wellness, and Life Plan, that plan to engage in outreach efforts and deliver their services from the facility.


“We’re excited to partner with New Heights on the “Laundry Hub.”  It’s a unique opportunity for us to work with several community-based and -minded partners to deliver services to people where they’re at. Status quo, pre-COVID service delivery constructs are obsolete. New Heights has thoughtfully created an important, systemic changing service collaborative partnership. The winners will be people in need and the community at large,” proclaimed Todd Gustafson, President and CEO of Kinexus Group.


The new center is made possible by several community partners including The Whirlpool Foundation, First Church of God, the Frederick S. Upton Foundation, Spectrum Health Lakeland Foundation, and private donors.

"We first became involved with New Heights several years ago when we provided a $150,000 grant to New Heights Auto Services that helped countless working families get access to affordable and reliable transportation," said Whirlpool Corporation VP of Communications and Public Affairs Jeff Noel. "Our grant to the Community Resource Center helps to fulfill our vision of improving life at home, by combining a place to care for families through clean laundry, while creating a sense of community and mutual support to access other much-needed life development programs."


“The Frederick S Upton foundation board is pleased to support this project,” said Jeff Upton, chair of the Frederick S. Upton Foundation. “Our grant committee was very impressed with not only the needs being met, but the collaboration of all the agencies working together to bring this project to our community.” 


Currently New Heights needs to raise $70,000 to completely fund the project. Ground breaking at the community center, which hasn’t been named yet, will take place in Spring of 2022, with an estimated grand opening in 2023.


About New Heights CCDA

New Heights CCDA is meeting human and social needs of the under-resourced in Benton Heights, Michigan and the surrounding communities of Berrien County by utilizing Christian principles.