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PHOENIX -- Families in Maryvale have a new place to go for help.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Tuesday at the new Maryvale Community Services Center, which is designed to provide several services for families. It's located in a renovated fitness center near 67th Avenue and Indian School Road.

"We provide basic services such as GED and English as a Second Language Services," said Edmundo Hidalgo, the president and CEO of Chicanos Por La Causa. "Also, more extensive services that include Behavioral Health Services for Children, family counseling, and parenting skills development."

His group teamed with Salt River Project to spend over $3 million to buy and renovate the place.

"This is our investment," said Hidalgo. "This is our little grain that, hopefully, will have a ripple effect in this community."

HIV and AIDS counseling will also be available at the center.

Hidalgo said the new center will give the people of Phoenix a chance. "We're about a hand up, not a hand out," he said. "For those people who are looking to move up economically, improve the quality of their life, we try to bring in the tools and services that hopefully allow them to be self-dependent, so that they themselves are able to prosper."

Most of the services at the center are available free of charge.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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