In May, the Women’s Foundation of Alabama and Steelcase Foundation hosted a roundtable discussion with Athens/Limestone County area nonprofits at the Athens Chamber of Commerce. The hope of the meeting was to connect nonprofits to learn about each other’s work, share successes and challenges, find common issues, and brainstorm solutions and opportunities to partner together.
Common issues discussed during the meeting included:
- Transportation – The Athens area, and the broader community, do not have a mass transit system, causing access issues for many community members.
- Housing – With the recent arrival of many large factories and fulfillment centers, the area has seen an influx in workers moving to the area driving up housing costs. Rent has nearly doubled in the last year, going from approximately $700 a month to $1,200-$1,400.
- Limited Resources – Area nonprofits operate with lean staff on tight financial constraints. Steelcase and the Foundation are one of the few corporations/foundations investing in the area, as many organizations new to the area have yet to build ties to the community.
We’re grateful to the following organizations for attending the convening and for future conversations about opportunities to partner to support the Athens/Limestone community:
- United Way of Athens and Limestone County + Limestone Area Community Foundation
- Drake Community College
- Learn to Read Council of Athens
- Family Services Center of Huntsville
- Athens Limestone County Family Resources
- Steelcase Inc.
- Women’s Foundation of Alabama