The Westside is comprised of some of Atlanta’s most challenged neighborhoods. It is also the birthplace of the American Civil Rights movement. Iconic civil rights leaders like Ambassador Andrew Young grew up in this area and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself chose to raise his family here. Today, 52% of Westside residents live below the poverty line, only 79% read above the third-grade level, and 40% of all housing is vacant.
What does the Westside Future Fund focus on?
Mixed – Income Housing & Resident Retention: Encouraging equitable community development while ensuring that current residents can remain on the Westside as land becomes more valuable and the area undergoes socioeconomic shift seen elsewhere in Atlanta’s downtown neighborhoods.
- Mixed – Income Housing & Resident Retention: Encouraging equitable community development while ensuring that current residents can remain on the Westside as land becomes more valuable and the area undergoes socioeconomic shift seen elsewhere in Atlanta’s downtown neighborhoods.
- Health & Wellness: Working alongside medical organizations and health and wellness practitioners to increase access to healthcare and improve health outcomes for residents.
- Cradle-to-Career Education: Which includes a focus on early childhood education and a unique partnership with Atlanta Public Schools’ Hollis Innovation Academy. There, WFF’s support ensures a very low teacher-to-student ratio and wrap-around family support services. WFF also provides training for adults to access living wage jobs.
- Safety & Security: Supporting initiatives to increase safety and security on the Westside and mitigating social factors that affect the crime rate.
Why does it matter?
By working together we all gain a louder voice, clearer path, and a more successful future. But most of all, the Westside Future Fund is helping figure out ways to change what sometimes feels like a pre-determined future. Without coordination, capital, and a concerted effort to address serious community needs like education, public services and affordable housing, the Westside will go the way of other historic Atlanta neighborhoods – toward unchecked gentrification, top-dollar development, and dramatic socioeconomic shift. The Westside’s residents, especially those who rent at low cost, will lose their homes. History will lose its grip on a pivotal landmark in the story of American civil rights. And Atlanta will lose its last, best opportunity to show everyone how a world-class city embraces growth, prosperity and population boom.
For more information on what the Westside Future Fund is doing, go to westsidefuturefund.org
Source: Westside Future Fund