Atlanta’s Grove Park neighborhood now has an organization dedicated exclusively to the health and well-being of its residents and their future. The Grove Park Foundation, a newly-formed nonprofit that grew out of the Emerald Corridor Foundation, joins the East Lake Foundation as the second Atlanta-based member of the Purpose Built Communities Network. The Grove Park Foundation serves as the community quarterback for a holistic initiative in the Grove Park neighborhood in Northwest Atlanta that already includes strong partnerships with Atlanta Public Schools, KIPP, the YMCA and several arts organizations to bring an A+ school, a new YMCA facility and new housing options for all income levels to the Grove Park neighborhood, with a particular focus on preserving and expanding affordability.
“With Atlanta in the midst of a real estate boom, particularly on the west side, it is imperative that we work in partnership with the community to preserve and expand high-quality affordable housing options and make long-term investments in children and families, specifically in education, health and economic well-being,” said Debra Edelson, Executive Director of the Grove Park Foundation. “The launch of the Grove Park Foundation and our inclusion in the Purpose Built Communities Network is the culmination of several years of hard work with community members and partners to improve quality of life across the board for the families and children of the neighborhood, and we are hopeful about Grove Park’s future.”
“The Purpose Built Communities Network now has projects in 17 cities across the country and we thrilled to include another neighborhood in Atlanta, where our work began more than 20 years ago,” said David Edwards. “We believe our model is a great fit for Grove Park, which will preserve housing affordability and make critical investments to break the cycle of poverty, creating a neighborhood environment where people of all income levels can afford a place to live and thrive.”
“Over the past few years, Debra and her team have been heavily engaged and involved in the Grove Park neighborhood,” said Karen Rose, Grove Park Neighborhood Association President. “We are already seeing results with the coming investments in a new, high-quality public school and a YMCA, and this is just the beginning.”
The YMCA of Metro Atlanta and Atlanta Public Schools will commence the design and construction process in tandem in 2018, on a new Woodson Park Academy campus in Grove Park in the near future that will include KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools as the high quality K-8 contract operator of that beginning in school year 2019-2020. The YMCA will operate a preschool that will serve children and families from the community and prepare them to enter Woodson Park Academy. Atlanta Public Schools is providing $18.5 million towards the cost of construction of the new school. The Grove Park Foundation and YMCA are raising all remaining funds complete the construction program.
“The YMCA of Metro Atlanta is thrilled to partner with the Grove Park Foundation on this bold new initiative,” said Ed Munster, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Atlanta. “Our organization has two decades of experience with the Purpose Built Communities model from our work with the East Lake Foundation and Drew Charter School, and we are looking forward to that experience benefitting the residents of Grove Park.”
The Grove Park Foundation is committed to a long-term effort to achieve an equitable and sustainable transformation that preserves and builds community with a cradle-to-college education pipeline, affordable and mixed income housing, and community health and wellness programs and facilities, following the Purpose Built Communities model. Building on the neighborhood’s strengths and needs, Grove Park Foundation is also building partnerships and attracting investment around the arts, affordable health care and bringing a “main street” economy back to life along the Donald Lee Hollowell corridor. The ultimate goal is to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by creating wide, durable channels out of poverty for low-income residents.
“The Grove Park Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of the residents of the Grove Park neighborhood, and we are grateful for this best-in-class set of partners that have joined this effort, beginning with the national expertise of Purpose Built Communities, and our talented local partners the YMCA, KIPP and APS,” said Leonard Murray, Chairman of the Board of the new Grove Park Foundation.