The YWCA Central Alabama continuously strives to serve the needs of women, children and families across our region. The YWoodlawn Revitalization Enrichment Project, for example, has been an ongoing effort to transform several acres of once blighted housing into an award-winning neighborhood. Over the past six years the YWCA has established key partnerships and collaborations which have tremendously helped this initiative. One partner in particular is Wells Fargo, who recently donated an incredibly generous $75,000 to support the YWCA’s ongoing efforts in YWoodlawn.
YWoodlawn includes fifty-eight units of service-enriched permanent housing, a first class shelter for families experiencing the crisis of homelessness, the area’s only playground, a community garden and a Family Resource Center that supports the neighborhood through a range of programs for those with low and very low incomes.
Wells Fargo, along with others, has played a significant role in the work begun in 2007 when the YWCA first came to the Woodlawn neighborhood where poverty was at a staggering 43 percent and gang violence and drug dealing were only overshadowed by the hopelessness and affliction that pervaded every corner of the once beautiful neighborhood. With such intensive work in the community today, the neighborhood’s poverty rate has diminished to less than 26 percent, which although remains high, testifies to the positive impact the YWCA and supporters like Wells Fargo, have been able to make in just five years.
“We’ve worked with the YWCA for a long time and we’re proud to support the new work they are doing in Woodlawn,” said Richard Busby, Senior Community Development Officer for Wells Fargo in Birmingham. “Through special housing and education, they are working to end homelessness and poverty, and we hope that this grant will help.”
The work isn’t over yet, though! Thanks to Wells Fargo’s contribution, the YWCA will continue its ongoing efforts to revitalize the Woodlawn community. This includes completing the playground with a small pavilion for outdoor community events, further developing programming and materials for the possibilities of culinary jobs and GED programming support. The funding also includes a Resident Incentive Fund that would incentivize low and very low income residents to actively participate and complete GED course work, computer skills training, budget counseling and similar programming.
On behalf of the YWCA, a very big thank you goes out to Wells Fargo for their continued support. We applaud them for recognizing the importance of making a difference in the lives and communities their donation will touch.
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