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YMCA, partners bringing transformational project to Birmingham’s Roebuck community

The YMCA of Greater Birmingham and its community partners in the Roebuck Collaborative are bringing transformational change to the city’s Roebuck community by addressing inequities found in safe community spaces, early learning, attainable housing, health care and mental wellness.

The Y launched a capital campaign in late 2021 that recently 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, a nonprofit initiative funded primarily by Regions Bank, provided the lead gift and set the pace for other foundation, corporate and individual donors to join the project.

“The Regions Foundation is working every day to create more inclusive prosperity, and the work of the YMCA’s Roebuck Collaborative is a natural complement to our focus on providing resources and opportunities that help people and families prosper,” said Marta Self, executive director of the Regions Foundation.

“This initiative is bringing people together, creating hope and providing access to important services that people in Roebuck need and want,” Self said. “The Regions Foundation is incredibly proud to support the work getting underway, and we look forward to celebrating its community impact for years to come.”

Renovations to the 25,000-square-foot Northeast YMCA facility will create a community resource center for local residents, including programming for youths, teens and seniors. The Y also plans to expand its high-quality, pre-K early-learning program to include two more classrooms, offering opportunities to a total of 54 children.

A collaboration with Habitat for Humanity will yield 22 single-family homes on the existing eight-acre Y property, creating a well-lit, walkable neighborhood that will include community gardens, playgrounds and a multipurpose sports field. The Habitat homebuyer model allows families to build their own homes alongside volunteers, complete education classes and pay an affordable mortgage. The model empowers home buyers with confidence and allows them to achieve independence to build a better life for themselves and their families for multiple generations.

Christ Health Center, a federally qualified health care provider founded in Birmingham’s Woodlawn neighborhood, has joined the project to address the health inequities in Roebuck and surrounding areas, especially those of children. To accommodate residents in these low- to moderate-income communities, Christ Health offers a generous, sliding scale fee-for-service option, so self-paying patients receive high-quality health care, no matter their ability to pay.

The new clinic will adjoined the renovated Y facility and feature up to 15 exam rooms and an on-site lab.

Two additional mental health partners will offer care for the Roebuck community. Impact Family Counseling will provide outpatient counseling and a variety of other services to 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 wellbeing. Both agencies will have an on-site presence at the Northeast Y.

“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.”

Learn more about the YMCA of Greater Birmingham at ymcabham.org.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewCenter)

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