Community pushes to revitalize west Montgomery

Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 10:06 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - An area that was once thriving with businesses and people during the Civil Rights era is now dormant, and two organizations are working together to revitalize it.

Pounds of Hope, Inc. General Manager Joyce Pearson and Westside Wood Works Home Builder Mike Bunce say they have big plans to improve the quality of life in West Montgomery, starting with building new homes and renovating existing homes on West Fred D. Gray Avenue.

“We intend to build or are going to start with a pretty straightforward three bedroom, two bath plan,” Bunce said, “It would have a great room, all the appliances for the kitchen, and there’ll be an option to have a garage.”

Pearson said the construction of Interstate-65 caused a mass exodus of people, but there are people still living in the area.

“I’m going to say probably several hundred people living in the area now, mostly elders,” Pearson said.

The two leaders of the project plan to not only create better homes but to provide people with a set of building skills to make a livable wage to provide for their families.

Local banks, city and county leaders, and more nonprofit organizations are working to give resources to the community such as homeownership and financial literacy classes to help new and current residents maintain a better lifestyle for themselves and their families.

The revitalization process will begin Monday as Pounds of Hope and Westside Wood Works will begin raising funds to apply for the Gannett’s A Community Thrives grant.

The group will begin accepting donations Monday.

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