By Mike Snyder, Houston Chronicle

The Ripley House community center in Houston’s East End was a familiar hangout for Armando Walle when he was a kid, even though he lived about 10 miles north in East Aldine. Walle’s godparents lived across the street from Ripley House, and during visits he saw the array of services it provided for residents of the mostly Latino, low-income surrounding community: early childhood education, for example, and activities for seniors.

“When I would go home, we didn’t have that in my neighborhood,” recalls Walle. “We needed something like that in Aldine. Our seniors would have liked a place to play bingo or loteria.”
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