What is The Link?
The Link is a Non-Profit Community Youth Center dedicated to providing a free, fun, and safe place for teens to gather with their peers for social interactions and educational opportunities.
A few years ago, we began talking to young people and their families about what local teens like to do for fun and where they spend their free time around York County. We were saddened to find that many youth felt that there was a lack of teen friendly places that they could spend time at. Even the local mall had adapted a 7pm curfew for teens. Young people are simply looking for safe places where they can gather with their peers for social interaction. We started speaking to even more people in the community including, teachers, neighbors, business owners, and community leaders. Everyone was in agreement that York County needs more safe places where young people can gather under adult supervision.
We asked these various community members what they felt were pressing needs and issues that need to be addressed pertaining to teens in our community. We received an overwhelming response! Concerns arose about the current drug and suicide epidemics plaguing our communities, Internet safety, bullying, and depression. Many people addressed needs such as financial education, tutoring, and training in skills such as CPR and basic mechanical work. Some people mentioned that they just want a safe place for their teen to hang out, with other kids their age, under safe adult supervision, with various games and activities.
We knew that we needed to act and create a safe place for teens that they so desperately needed. With the support of various donors in and around our community we were able to raise over $120,000 to help bring this idea to fruition.
The Link Community Youth Center is located at 65 School Street, in York Pennsylvania, in the community of Spry. The Center consists of a one story (30' x 60'; 1800 sq. ft.) building, along with a large (16' x 60') deck. There is a large field next to the building, which is an ideal space for outdoor activities including cookouts, music events, games, sports, and bonfires. Using the combination of indoor and outdoor space, we are able to hold large-scale events in addition to smaller gatherings.