Woodlawn community starts revitalization - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Woodlawn community starts revitalization

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

It's a new day in the community of Woodlawn. We told you last night about new educational programs for the school system, but the changes in Woodlawn aren't just in schools. Homes, businesses, and community buildings are getting new energy.

Woodlawn has a large history of reaching out and helping folks. We have an abundance of churches," Arnold King, a resident and Neighborhood President said.

You'd be hard pressed to find someone who knows Woodlawn more than Arnold King...

"I've lived here my whole life - 51 years," King said. "I've seen it at it's best but I've also seen it decline."

Vanessa Jones says they have a long list of needs..

"Vacant housing, making sure areas are restored, especially affordable houses," Jones, a high school teacher said.

But this historical Birmingham neighborhood is on the verge of a big change. 

"It's truly about building those connections, listening to residents, and empowering them to build this community," Sally Mackin, Executive Director, Woodlawn Foundation said.

The Woodlawn Foundation started in 2010 -created  by the Goodrich Foundation. It centers on education, business development, housing, and health.

"It's one of the most exciting things happening in our city right now because it can be a model, it will be a model," Mackin said. "This isn't just about Woodlawn, it's about the future of Birmingham."

It's headquarters is inside what was a run-down warehouse. The structure will also house REV Birmingham, and new office space for budding businesses. But more important that the physical changes are the emotional ones.

"It's an awesome experience to see it revitalized and coming back to life after so many years of seeing a decline," Jones said.

"People are more proud to say they're from Woodlawn," King said.

The Woodlawn Foundation says they hope to replicate the project in other Birmingham communities.

 

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