Cornbread West owner launches new community outreach hub in downtown York
April Collier has been reaching out to York City's youth through her businesses for a number of years, but now she has invested in a physical location that is specifically reserved for that outreach.
Collier’s business, Jook Joint Global Inc., and the League of Exceptional Individuals Social Club, also known as the LEXI Social Club, held a grand opening for the hub on March 7 in downtown York.
Collier said that the community outreach effort has been part of her vision for the past seven years. The location will enable the community to have a place to discuss neighborhood advocacy and change, she said.
LEXI, a local nonprofit, is co-leasing the 7 E. Market St. building and is also part of the effort to facilitate conversation between parents, teens and the community, Collier said.
LEXI promotes furthering education and athletic participation among local youth. A representative from the organization could not be reached for comment.
Collier said that the hub will provide a space for children and teens to talk about their problems and vent their frustrations, but also to work with the community to find solutions to systemic problems.
The hub will be a place of learning, as well. Collier plans to collaborate with other local groups and businesses to provide educational workshops in culinary arts, healthy living, exercise, graphic design and art. Her goal is for the hub to offer more programs as it grows.
“There will be pretty much any skill you can think of,” she said.
Collier is financing the outreach hub through proceeds from her restaurant, Cornbread West, 590 W. King St., as well as through donations from local and state nonprofit organizations.
The hub is open Monday through Friday for, but available 24 hours a day for any youth who needs a safe space, Collier said. All they have to do is find her or another contact person in the organization, she said.
“My dream is for this to be the change York County needs,” she said.