Holland’s Westcore Neighborhood, in collaboration with Nueva Comunidad/Fourth Reformed Church, Good Samaritan Ministries, and Women’s Service Day, renovates home for future neighborhood center.

Nueva Comunidad/Fourth Reformed Church, Good Samaritan Ministries, and Women’s Service Day are working side-by-side with Holland’s Westcore neighbors to turn a vacant house at 253 West 15th Street into a neighborhood center.

Called Nuestra Casa/The Gathering Place, the building will be renovated to allow neighborhood residents to hold activities like book groups, cooking classes, canning classes, mentoring activities, music lessons, crafts for kids, reading activities, and community gardening.

Nueva Comunidad currently owns the house. Good Samaritan Ministries, which works with the neighborhood’s advisory board through its Neighborhood Connections Program, is also a supporter of this project. Women’s Service Day, which organizes a community volunteer day for women each year, will focus on this revitalization project for the 2011 event that is scheduled for October 6. To sign up, women can register online before September 2.

Upcoming activities will include fundraising events to support the renovation project.

With 250 vacant houses in the City of Holland alone, an opportunity to turn one of them into a neighborhood center could help revitalize the city, creating “pride of place” and a gathering place for the residents who live among so many abandoned homes.

Ideally, Nuestra Casa/The Gathering Place will encourage future revitalization projects in the City of Holland, or elsewhere, helping residents foster a healthy, safe community.

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