PitCare Inc. says the center is essential, since the only other public place were two local bars.By Briana Smith

PITCAIRN (KDKA) — In a borough of 3,200 residents, one local organization is fulfilling the community’s changing needs.

Since 2014, PitCare Inc. has been providing resources to those underserved in Pitcairn.

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Their latest project is a community center for children which has become a home away from home for many.

“It’s the first one in the town,” said Heather Luimes who is the operations director. “We’ll have about 40 kids in here on any given evening. The place is happening.”

“Everyone is just so close with each other,” said 9th grader Jayden Wright. “Nobody is rude.”

PitCare Inc. opened the Kim Parsons Library and Community Center in 2019.

“We really wanted to create a space that was not only kid friendly, but really just really anyone could come and feel safe and welcome,” said Luimes.

Luimes said previously, two local bars were the only public places to connect.

But now, this center is a space for interaction and inspiration.

“Our goal here is, we always talk about creating community,” said Luimes. “People coming together and setting aside differences.”

Luimes also said it’s the first lending library in the area.

Children can choose from 6,000 books, or they can just complete crafts, hang out, and build relationships.

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“There is a lack of opportunity,” said Luimes. “Our latest census, 26% of Pitcairn residents live under the poverty line. There is definitely a need down here in the community. I think it’s really easy to see struggle for these kids often.”

But with PitCare inc., there’s hope.

The organization has opened other doors of opportunity too, through their educational programs such as Summer Earn and Learn.

“They work with us through the internship during the summer,” said Luimes. “Then we kind of expose them to different work things, and then we literally go out and job hunt after. So far, we’ve had a 100% success rate.”

19-year-old Christopher Horton was one of the first students to participate, learning life skills and even how to drive.

“It prepared me to see real world stuff,” said Horton. “I learned that nothing is sugar coated. If it’s going to hit you, it’s going to hit you hard.

Because of Pitcare Inc., Horton says he’s equipped for what’s next, even if it’s beyond the borders of Pitcairn.

“I hope they get a sense of adventure and a sense that, ‘I can really achieve things if I put my mind to it,’” said Luimes.

“I know everything they gave me here, I’m going to use eventually,” said Horton. “I’m ready.”

A proud moment for Luimes, hoping this organization shows all of these small-town kids that there’s a whole world filled with endless possibilities.

Pitcare also has a Meals on Wheels program, community garden and food pantry that feeds about 120 families each month.

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For more information about their programs, how to participate or volunteer, head to their website.