By Jobina Fortson, Reporter
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A non-profit has a bold push to revitalize West Louisville neighborhoods. However, before they do anything, they want to ensure residents in west Louisville are on board.
“I’m trying not to get emotional,” Pam Haines, the owner of Sweet Peaches in west Louisville, said.
Haines would have every reason to feel defeated after a car smashed through the front of her business. Instead, she is feeling hopeful.
“Now that we know there’s a group of people that care about what’s going on where we live at, it’s hopeful. They’re hopeful. My customers are hopeful,” Haines said.
Haines is talking about One West, a non-profit created in 2014 to drive economic development and growth in West Louisville.
Fifty percent of One West’s board are residents of West Louisville and the other half have a vested interest in the community.
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The organization has been studying the area for the past two years through one-on-one meetings with residents.
“We asked them the question, ‘What is it that you want for West Louisville and what are you willing to do to have it?'” Pam Stevenson, the community advocate for One West, said.
Through that, One West has created a strategic plan outlining key priorities for the next five years in west Louisville. For example, the use of green space, encouraging commercial development and more small businesses like Sweet Peaches.
“We won’t make a move without getting the buy in support of the West Louisville community,” Jenny Recktenwald, the interim director of One West, said.
One West has set up three public meetings in the community giving residents the chance to respond and react to the plan.
“People want to be listened to. They want to know that their voice matters. They want to know that if they say something, someone is going to listen and not coming into West Louisville and do whatever it is they want to do and then leave,” Stevenson said.
“That’s just one of my pet peeves, meeting with no action. It’s wasting your life,” Stevenson said.
The One West Community conversations will be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday in three separate locations.
Thursday, Oct. 20, 6 to 8 p.m.
Southwick Community Center
3621 Southern Avenue
Friday, Oct. 21, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Shawnee Golf Course Clubhouse
460 Northwestern Parkway
Saturday, Oct. 22, 10 a.m. to noon
KY Center for African American Heritage
1701 W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard
All events are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
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