by Stephanie Rebman, Birmingham Business Journal
The YMCA has unveiled a project that leaders hope will be transformational for one Birmingham neighborhood.
The YMCA of Greater Birmingham and its community partners in the Roebuck Collaborative are renovating the local facility but also focusing on bringing a boost to housing and education.
To accomplish these goals, a capital campaign was launched in 2021. It has surpassed its original $3.5 million goal during the private phase and is now working toward a stretch goal of $3.75 million. The Regions Foundation provided the lead gift and set the pace for other foundation, corporate and individual donors to join the project.
Renovations to the existing 25,000-square-foot Northeast YMCA facility, planned to start in fall 2023, will create a community resource center for local residents, including programming for youth, teens and seniors. The nonprofit also plans to expand its current pre-K early learning program to include two additional classrooms, offering early learning opportunities to 54 children.
A collaboration with Habitat for Humanity will bring 22 single-family homes to the existing 8-acre YMCA property, creating a well-lit, walkable neighborhood that will include community gardens, playgrounds and a multi-purpose sports field. The Habitat homebuyer model allows families to build their own homes alongside volunteers, complete education classes and pay an affordable mortgage.
Also on board is Christ Health Center, which his known for its health care in Woodlawn. The federally qualified health care provider has joined the project to address the health inequities in Roebuck and surrounding areas, especially those of children. It will bring a new clinic to the YMCA acreage and include up to 15 exam rooms and an onsite lab.
Two other health care entities will be on site as well. Impact Family Counseling will provide outpatient counseling and a variety of other services to its patients, including mentoring, relationship education, family strengthening and anger management. The Crisis Center will serve the unmet needs of people experiencing a personal crisis or mental health issues and respond with services that promote coping, emotional health and well-being.
“I am grateful for those who joined us to step up as a community and be a part of bringing these life-changing programs, services, and facilities to the families in Roebuck,” said Charles DeBardeleben, YMCA Campaign Chair. “It’s truly been a collaborative process, and one that we hope sets a benchmark for further progress.”
CCR Architecture & Interiors has been selected to help lead the project.