A groundbreaking yesterday marked the start of construction on the New Heights Laundry Hub in the heart of Benton Heights, aiming to increase the overall well-being for neighborhood residents. The new facility, which will include a laundromat and host human and social services, including financial coaching, career services, and health consultations, will be open to the general public. The center is expected to open this fall.

The Laundry Hub will be operated by New Heights Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) and is made possible by community partners including Whirlpool Foundation, First Church of God, the Frederick S. Upton Foundation, Corewell Health Foundation Southwest Michigan, American Electric Power Foundation as well as other foundations and private donors.

“We’ve worked with New Heights on other initiatives and have seen the programs address clear needs of community members,” said Deb O’Connor, Whirlpool Foundation’s managing director.

The Whirlpool Foundation was drawn to the idea of combining the basic need for clean laundry in a place residents can also access other much-needed human and social services.”

The event featured speakers from within the community and Chris Britton, executive director of New Heights CCDA.

“Residents of this community are lacking access to these types of services. By offering an essential service, the laundromat, with resources like financial assistance, career services and health consultations in the same central location, we believe the center will help increase the quality of life in Benton Heights,” said Chris Britton, executive director of New Heights CCDA.

New Heights CCDA operates New Heights Auto Services, an automotive repair social enterprise, Community Food Network, a program to address chronic food insecurity, and the soon to be New Heights Laundry Hub.

Corewell Health will support health consultations in the new center. “Partnering with New Heights allows Corewell Health to provide services in Benton Heights and deepen relationships in that community,” said Nicki Britten, director, Population Health, Corewell Health in Southwest Michigan. “This facility is a wonderful investment in a historically under-resourced area that will improve the lives of the people who live here.”