Mission 2017-06-01T16:11:26+00:00


For many years, Charles Parker has served the Kalamazoo community. Named by the Kalamazoo Gazette as “Mr. Everything,” Charles’ reputation for excellence in youth programming and community development work is extensive. His most notable service includes: Program Director for the Greater Kalamazoo Y.M.C.A where he established the Lincoln-Y.M.C.A program on the Northside of Kalamazoo; founder of the Kalamazoo Black Achievers Program; head coach for various sports programs such as football, track, wrestling and judo; founding member of the Northside Neighborhood Watch; and Achievement and Behavior Support Specialist for Kalamazoo Public Schools.

In addition to being an active community leader, Charles is the father of six children reared countless nieces, nephews and foster-children over the years. Charles believed that it was essential for his children to develop into community leaders, therefore he worked hard to keep them involved in many of the services he was involved with in the community. The seeds of hope he planted in them over the years enabled them to realize their personal dreams; and now they have been equipped and positioned to help him in realize a personal dream of his own.

In 2013, with the help of his family, Charles Parker founded Charlie’s P.L.A.C.E. (Pursuing Leadership and Community Engagement). This organization offers various recreational programming, including: the Charlie’s P.L.A.C.E. YBL Basketball League, Greater Kalamazoo Judo Association as well as educational programs geared toward pre-college access and basic skills. Through offering recreational and educational programming, Charlie’s P.L.A.C.E. hopes to provide a positive outlet for the youth of Kalamazoo as well as an environment to plant seeds of hope, cultivating and developing these youths into effective community leaders.

Read our annual 2016 Impact Report

Our Mission

Charlie’s PLACE: Facilitating community transformation by providing diverse social services; serving youth ages 5-22, low income populations and families. It  is our mission to offer a platform for personal development and community engagement in the Greater Kalamazoo area.

Our Vision

We hope to cultivate and harvest future leaders through a holistic approach of developing aspects of the mind, body, and soul. This is done through educational, athletic and life skill programs. Each level of service is intended to wrap around and evolve the mindset of  our youth, low income populations and families. Ensuring the opportunity for individuals to be empowered; becoming successful at all stages of life in order to transform and sustain healthy vibrant communities.

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