Quality of Life

  • Our objective for Quality of Life is to produce a rising standard of living (including increased income, assets, and economic security), to build civic engagement, and to promote effective organizational leadership. The Foundation continually seeks strategic partnerships to achieve goals of this magnitude.

  • esagono con colori dell'arcobaleno e una casa nel mezzo

  • WRC – NewBridges

    Issues facing women served by Houston County Courts were initially identified by Judge Conaway, Dr. Jack Sasser and the WRC, Inc. Board. The need to address the transitional needs of women in community work release programs to dramatically reduce recidivism rates by improving successful integration into local communities was evident. Since 1972 the number of women prisoners in Alabama has increased 930%. With the only Alabama women’s facility at 190% of capacity, it is a very real threat that the federal government will take over, forcing mass releases. Most of these women are sent home to live in exactly the same situations they were in when they committed their first crime. Once this information was substantiated through research of the situation throughout Alabama, the plan was set in motion.

    The pilot program, NewBridges, partially funded by Wiregrass Foundation, brings a new type of transition housing experience to the area. This recovery life skills program (RSLP) is a residential transition home that provides comprehensive and individualized planning and intervention for 12 – 24 women at a time over the course of a year. The target population for this project is women participating and eligible for the Houston County Corrections Work Release program. NewBridges will work with moderate-to low-risk offenders to provide assessment, targeted services, and job training. The primary goal of the project is to reduce recidivism in the Wiregrass.   The transition home is not a temporary stop over on the way back to a bad environment. NewBridges is intended to fundamentally change the capacity of women to stand on their own. The plan integrates comprehensive intervention with job training for livable wages with the potential to support families. Training and services will be provided by the National Institute of Corrections and local educational and mental health partners. The long term goal of the project is to reduce the number of women returning to corrections in Houston County, AL from the current 21% to 10% by the end of the three-year pilot program, and to 5% after five years.

    “NewBridges will be a positive place to be and the women will be treated with dignity and respect by all.” (Dr. Jack Sasser).

     

  • Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity – Capacity Build

    Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity (WHFH) works in partnership with people from all walks of life to develop communities in partnership with people in need by building and repairing homes so there are decent communities in which families can thrive. No matter who we are or where we come from, we all deserve to have a decent life. We deserve to feel strength and stability day after day. We deserve to know we have the power to take care of ourselves and build our own futures. WHFH accomplishes this goal by working in partnership with other organizations that have similar goals of helping disadvantaged Wiregrass families.  WHFH grant application notes that within the combined population of 195,890 people living in Dale, Henry, Houston, and Geneva counties, an average of 16.4% of residents live below the poverty line, including 24.15% of those under 18 and 18.53% of those 65 years or older.

    The WHFH traditional program serves the low-income individuals and families with a demonstrated need, ability to pay, and willingness to partner with WHFH to build a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. With partial funding from WF, this award will help two families in the Wiregrass to move out of substandard housing into decent, affordable homes. This assistance can help the homeowner begin to build equity and a future for their family and generations to come. One simple statement sums up who WHFH is and why they exist: Wiregrass Habitat for Humanity builds strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter.

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    City of Dothan Department of Leisure Services – Forever Wild

    It has been well documented that trail hiking and mountain biking provides benefits for cardiovascular benefits and calorie burn. The City of Dothan realized that our area was in need of a recreational area large enough for these activities.

    After securing donations or “commitments to sell” for 400 acres of land located between Flowers Chapel Road and Fortner Street, the City of Dothan submitted and received approval from Alabama’s Forever Wild Land Trust (FWLT) program to purchase the property to be protected forever as a natural preserve. As noted in the FWLT 2014-15 Annual Report, The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, State Lands Division receives nominations for land tracts to be considered by the Board. The number of public natural areas has continued to expand through this program to ensure present and future generations can enjoy them.

    Many were involved as project partners committed to making monetary, in-kind, and volunteer services to insure the success of the project. WF awarded a grant to the City to fund the construction of bridges that will connect a 1 mile, 3 mile, and 5 mile hiking and biking loops, the primary feature of the property. On June 4 of this year, another 100+ acres of the property will open with an additional 3.5 miles of trail to enjoy. The land is a perfect, natural setting for a park, and expected to be a favorite spot for many. The trails are expected to be opened from daylight to dark.