THE VISION

Woodlawn Foundation serves as a catalyst and facilitator for the transformation and revitalization of Woodlawn in Birmingham, Alabama, into a vibrant and sustainable community in which its residents have an opportunity to thrive. 

The Vision of the Woodlawn Foundation is to grow a safe and healthy community where children learn and play, families live in quality housing, parents work in stable jobs, businesses thrive and everyone contributes to the growth of Greater Birmingham.

a community quarterback

In 2010, Mike and Gillian Goodrich started Woodlawn Foundation, the lead organization or “community quarterback” of Woodlawn United – a comprehensive collaboration of partners committed to breaking the cycle of poverty in Woodlawn.

By working with residents and local stakeholders in the community, Woodlawn Foundation identifies needs within the neighborhood and leverages resources to fill those gaps with high quality services and programs.

WHAT WE BELIEVE IN

Integrity: Transparency in our work and mission, honesty and trustworthiness.
Equity: We embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion and use this as the basis of our decision making.
Passion: We are energized by our work and are fully immersed in our community and residents.
Humanity: By taking care of one another, we consistently strive to make Woodlawn the best it can be for ourselves and its residents.
Creativity: We seek new ways to be more effective in furthering our mission to the
greater good of our community.

THE FOUNDATION follows
A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO
COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION

PURPOSE BUILT COMMUNITIES

The Purpose Built Communities model for holistic community revitalization was crafted from the successful transformation of the East Lake community in Atlanta, Georgia, in the mid-1990’s. Led by local real estate developer and philanthropist Tom Cousins, Atlanta Housing Authority President and CEO Renee Glover, local resident Eva Davis and key business leaders, the partnership took the community from a poverty-stricken, crime-ridden public housing development into a thriving community with quality mixed-income housing, a top-rated school, 95% reduction in crime rates and substantial investments in commercial and residential real estate.

By utilizing lessons learned through the East Lake transformation via high quality, mixed-income housing, cradle-to-college education pipeline and community wellness programs, Purpose Built Communities is helping to make a positive impact in some the country’s most challenging neighborhoods through organizations such as Woodlawn Foundation. To date, their Network Members lead comprehensive redevelopment initiatives in more than eighteen communities across the country.

Click HERE to learn more about Purpose Built Communities

EDUCATION PIPELINE
EDUCATION PIPELINE

In the Spring of 2013, several partners joined Woodlawn Foundation in a collaborative effort to create a model school feeder pattern …

(Click to view more)
MIXED-INCOME HOUSING
MIXED-INCOME HOUSING

Providing high quality, mixed-income and single family housing options to Woodlawn residents has been the primary real estate strategy for Woodlawn Foundation since its inception …

(Click to view more)
COMMUNITY WELLNESS
COMMUNITY WELLNESS

We believe community wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being …

(Click to view more)
REVITALIZING A COMMUNITYTHROUGH A PROVEN MIXED-INCOME HOUSING STRATEGY
The Park at Wood Station
The Park at Wood Station is a townhouse-style development comprised of 64 homes designed to fill the need for high-quality affordable housing in the Woodlawn community. The homes are designated for families meeting the desired income levels. These apartment homes are equipped with both two and three-bedroom floor plans to meet individual needs. The Park at Wood Station is currently operating at a 100% occupancy rate with a substantial waiting list.
The Cottages at Wood Station
The Cottages at Wood Station are twelve single-family homes designed after bungalows that are original to the area. Developed by Woodlawn Foundation, ARC Realty, Design Initiative, and Drake Homes, these three bedroom / two bath homes are offered in three different floorplans and include a common green space that will be maintained by a Homeowners Association. The community is located three blocks from the Woodlawn Business District and just minutes from downtown Birmingham.
The homeowner
rehabilitation program (HRP)
The Homeowner Rehabilitation Program continues to provide much needed repairs to homes in the Woodlawn community. The program supports existing homeowners by providing renovations that address health and safety issues and enhance the quality of life for residents whom otherwise might not be able to afford the repairs. Typical repairs may include roof replacements and floor stabilizations as well as plumbing and electrical system upgrades. The program helps reduce foreclosure risk and protects the equity in residents’ homes. Thanks to several corporate, community and national funding partners, HRP has invested over $1.2 million and served over 100 families to date.
Next Initiative
CREATING ACRADLE-TO-COLLEGE
& CAREER PIPELINE

James Rushton Early Learning and Family Success Center
To ensure a true pipeline, Woodlawn Foundation is focused on providing an early childhood education experience that is closely linked to area elementary schools. In partnership with the James Rushton I Foundation, Woodlawn Foundation recently constructed the James Rushton Early Learning and Family Success Center, a high-quality early learning center in Woodlawn that will be at the heart of a comprehensive child development system ensuring that children are ready to learn when they enter pre-kindergarten. The 16,000 square-foot facility accommodates up to 100 students, ages six weeks to four years old, with enrollment priority given to Woodlawn families. Tuition is based on need, with scholarships available to those meeting the criteria.
i3 Academy
In 2019, we continued our partnership with I3 Academy to renovate First Baptist Church of Woodlawn into a K-5 charter school. I3 Academy, established under the State of Alabama’s Public Charter School law, was created as part of a systemic approach to learning that begins at birth and continues through adulthood in the Woodlawn Community. The school builds upon the existing schools and the James Rushton Early Learning Center as part of the cradle career education pathway in Woodlawn by creating another choice for parents and students. The ground-breaking ceremony for the new I3 Academy school was held in August 2019.This marks the first major project in West Woodlawn that will catalyze development in the residential community. In spite of the pandemic, construction was completed in July 2020 and the school opened in August 2020. As an anchor development in this area of the community, its establishment serves as a catalyst for additional mixed-income housing, infill development and the rehabilitation of vacant and blighted properties surrounding the site. The Woodlawn Foundation will be hosting visioning sessions with residents to determine what they see has a priority in the Woodlawn Community.

I3 Academy is approximately 41,000 sf in size, on two levels, broken down roughly into 27,700 sf renovation area, 8,800 sf addition/infill at the existing building, and 4,400 sf stand-alone new construction. I3 Academy serves grades K-5 with an enrollment of approximately 420 students. This new elementary school facility includes renovations of and additions to the existing 2-story church building, as well as new construction of a stand-alone multipurpose structure which also serves as the required storm shelter for the school. The facility consists of 18 classrooms for grades K through 5, a media center, special education rooms, offices for educators, administration and support staff, as well as other support spaces, including the aforementioned multipurpose/safe room.
Woodlawn Innovation Network (WIN)
In the spring of 2013, Birmingham City Schools (BCS), A+ Education Partnership (A+) and Woodlawn Foundation joined in a collaborative effort to create a model school feeder pattern to serve children living in the Woodlawn area of Birmingham. The result was the Woodlawn Innovation Network (WIN) and its vision was: that every child is college and career ready when leaving high school, that every child has an intentional path forward upon graduation, and that every child graduating from Woodlawn High School has the opportunity to earn up to 60 hours of college credit during their high school years. Although the partnership came to an end at the conclusion of the 2018-2019 school year, Woodlawn Foundation remains committed to the children, families and schools in the Woodlawn community.

Schools included in WIN:

  • Woodlawn High School
  • Hayes K-8
  • Putnam Middle School
  • Avondale Elementary
  • Oliver Elementary
Community Navigator

Summer Programming

YWCA-Crew

Healthy Families Initiative

Workforce Readiness
WIN SUCCESS STORIES

Managers of Community Partners (MCP)
Woodlawn Foundation provided a Manager of Community Partners (MCP) in each of the five schools in the Woodlawn network through the 2018-2019 school year whose sole purpose is to connect families to support services and coordinate partners in six areas: youth development, health, mental health, family support, education and community engagement. These school-level quarterbacks served as front line support for parents at each school.

Early College
Early College gives Woodlawn High students the opportunity to earn up to 60 hours of college credit in high school. Early College is a partnership between Birmingham City Schools, University of Alabama-Birmingham, and Jefferson State Community College that gives Woodlawn High students the opportunity to earn up to 60 hours of college credit in high school. To date, Woodlawn High School students have earned more than 1100 college hours through Early College.

Professional Development
Greater Birmingham Math Partnership (GBMP) and WIN are working together to assist teachers in using inquiry-based instruction to increase student achievement. Teachers from Avondale and Oliver Elementary Schools began working with GBMP during the summer of 2017 when teachers took a 4-day inquiry-based mathematics course on “Equations and Expressions” which then modeled the instruction that teachers would implement with their students. During this school year, teachers have been participating in follow-up monthly Professional Learning Community meetings to plan and then observe in-the moment lessons with WIN students. GBMP’s research since 2004 has shown that when teachers implement inquiry-based curriculum, student achievement increases.

Academic Achievement

Our collaborative work led to:

Next Initiative
CULTIVATING PARTNERSTO ADDRESS COMMUNITY NEEDS

We believe community wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. In order to cultivate the healthy and safe neighborhood that Woodlawn’s citizens deserve, we are working with residents and partners to provide access to health services, wellness programs in schools, more green space, walking trails, healthy food, quality retail amenities, and more.

Jones Valley Teaching Farm
In 2016, Jones Valley Teaching Farm implemented working farm labs at all five schools in the Woodlawn network, providing gardens that serve as outdoor classrooms. Students plant, tend and harvest the fruits and vegetables at each farm lab, then sell the produce at student-run markets. Not only do students learn the science of growing fruits and vegetables but also how to run a business.

Most recently, Woodlawn High School students now have an opportunity to develop professional and personal skills through a new, year-round apprenticeship from Jones Valley Teaching Farm. The two-year program allows participants to contribute to JVTF’s overall mission and success by working directly with students at each of the labs. Started in the Summer of 2017 and expanded in 2018, the program employs two full-time and two part-time salaried positions.

JVTF continues to be a valued partner in our mission to revitalize and energize the Woodlawn Community. Click here to learn more about Jones Valley Teaching Farm.
Urban Main
Woodlawn Legal Help Desk

Woodlawn Neighborhood Associations

Christ Health Center
Christ Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides high quality healthcare to families of Woodlawn and surrounding areas regardless of their insurance needs. Recently, the Center expanded its operations by completing construction of a $2.8 million, 6,300 square foot freestanding facility on land originally owned by Woodlawn Foundation. In addition to providing access to primary care, dental services, professional counseling and an onsite pharmacy, the expansion will now offer six additional examination rooms, more case management space and a training space, all focusing on mental and behavioral health services.

Click here to learn more about Christ Health Center.
Next Initiative
STAY CONNECTED
@woodlawnfoundation