2013 National Planning Excellence Awards: Advancing Diversity & Social Change in Honor of Paul Davidoff

YWCA Central Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama

The YWCA Central Alabama undertook a multimillion-dollar urban neighborhood revitalization effort called YWoodlawn. The YWoodlawn Plan was a collaborative empowerment initiative intended to reduce poverty and hopelessness within an underserved area of Birmingham through reinvesting in the neighborhood; providing innovative housing for families experiencing homelessness; introducing affordable transition housing for families; bringing health, education, and employment-based services to the community's doorstep; and reintroducing homeownership opportunities in a stable, growing community.

Between 2007 and 2011, YWCA Central Alabama completed three major components of its YWoodlawn project including: a permanent housing initiative with 58 housing units, eight of which are entirely ADA accessible rental units; the YWCA's Interfaith Hospitality House, a shelter for families experiencing the crisis of homelessness; and the Family Resource Center, a community center offering assistance and supportive services to those seeking social and economic empowerment.

Woodlawn's vacant Accu-Mart was renovated to house the new Family Resource Center

"Woodlawn's vacant Accu-Mart was renovated to house the new Family Resource Center.