Tallahassee South City neighborhood joins ‘Purpose Built’ community improvement network

Nada Hassanein, Tallahassee Democrat

A Tallahassee public housing complex is slated for a “holistic” revamp.

Orange Avenue Apartments is the latest to join a nationwide community enhancement nonprofit, local leaders announced at a Tuesday press conference.

Purpose Built Communities Inc. will work with South City Foundation and other local agencies to improve the neighborhood using the nonprofit’s three-fold model — implementing affordable and mixed-income housing, developing a cradle-to-college pipeline, and creating community-based health and wellness programs.

. . .

About half of South City residents are living in poverty, and the area has an unemployment rate of 18%. Many residents are families who are stuck in a generational cycle of poverty. Orange Avenue’s small bedrooms can’t hold beds larger than twin- or full-sized.

“Place matters to how well we live and how well our children live. Poverty and place are inextricably connected,” Rep. Loranne Ausley said. She is the co-chair of the South City Foundation’s board of directors.

. . .

South City Foundation is also collaborating with Whole Child Leon, Leon County Schools and Leon County to pull off the plan.

“Tallahassee’s a community of neighborhoods, and most of us are defined by the neighborhood that we live in — and too many of our neighborhoods are not healthy,” Ausley said. “And that’s why we’re here today: to make sure that we are standing behind an effort to make this community, to return it to the vibrant community that it once was.”

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