- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A Latin American Coalition in Charlotte is proposing that the city open some neighborhood laundries as welcome centers for immigrants.

The Charlotte Observer reported (http://bit.ly/1mUNyzK) the coalition thinks it would cost about $400,000 to open the first center, though they hope to reduce costs through corporate gifts.

Coalition leaders hope the first laundry could open next year.

Leaders of Charlotte’s Immigrant Integration Task Force like the idea. The task force was created by the Charlotte City Council in November to recommend policies that could help the city’s immigrants become more involved in economic and cultural affairs.

Putting the centers in for-profit laundries could allow the welcome centers to become self-supporting.

Task force co-chair Emily Zimmern says the proposal could result in a series of Latino community centers for the city.

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Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com