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Goodwill lands $500K grant from Jewish Heritage Fund

Goodwill Industries of Kentucky expects to open it new Opportunity Campus in West Louisville in November.

Source: Louisville Business First By: Haley Cawthon

Goodwill Industries of Kentucky recently received a $500,000 grant from the Jewish Heritage Fund to help build its Opportunity Center in West Louisville.

The grant will be used to help construct Goodwill’s 124,000-square-foot resource center in the Parkland neighborhood that will house a collection of social service agencies that offer free career coaching, job training, youth mentoring, expungement services, restorative justice programs, second-chance banking, free drop-in childcare and dental services to West Louisville residents, according to a news release.

Business First previously reported Goodwill received a $500,000 grant from the PNC Foundation to support its Soft Skills Academy on the West Louisville campus, and the nonprofit received another $500,000 grants from the Truist Charitable Fund and Truist Foundation.

“We are fortunate to have visionary philanthropists in this community like the leaders at the Jewish Heritage Fund who recognize the value in supporting causes that help people build self-sufficient lifestyles.” said DeVone Holt, chief external affairs officer for Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, in the release. “This generous gift moves us closer to our goal of raising $15 million to establish a beacon of hope in a community that has been notoriously underserved for decades.”

The $50 million West Louisville Opportunity Center will be the “largest showcase of the holistic approach to service” that Goodwill has established for job seekers working to overcome barriers to employment that include addiction histories, justice-involved backgrounds, education deficiencies, limited employment experiences, childcare challenges and lack of access to reliable transportation, the release continued.

Through its partnership with other social service agencies that will be co-located on the 20-acre campus, Goodwill expects more than 50,000 people will be served at the Opportunity Center every year. The nonprofit organization also anticipates helping to place more than 600 job seekers annually into full-time employment with businesses throughout the region that pay a minimum of $13 per hour.

“Helping Goodwill build its Opportunity Center allows the Jewish Heritage Fund to contribute to the revitalization of West Louisville through a trusted partner that has 100 years of experience helping people live better lives,” said Jeff Polson, president and CEO of the Jewish Heritage Fund, in the release. “We also appreciate knowing that this gift will help facilitate a collaboration of other nonprofit organizations we support that will be co-located together in Goodwill’s West Louisville Opportunity Center.”

In addition to housing Goodwill’s social services and programs, the West Louisville Opportunity Center will include Big Brothers/Big Sisters, KentuckianaWorks, Volunteers of America, Park Community Credit Union, the Kentucky College of Barbering, University of Louisville School of Dentistry, Legal Aid Society and the YMCA as co-located partners. In a separate building on Goodwill’s Opportunity Campus, Norton Healthcare will open the first hospital in West Louisville in more than 150 years.

Goodwill expects the campus to create an annual economic impact of $18.7 million in West Louisville — a nine-neighborhood community where the median household income is $21,000 for the majority African American population of 65,000 residents.

In June 2022, Goodwill broke ground and began construction on the campus. Construction is expected to be complete in late 2023.

Last year, Goodwill launched a capital campaign, “Opportunity is Knocking,” to raise $15 million by the end of 2023 to help fund the 124,000 square-foot, comprehensive Opportunity Center that is being built on its Opportunity Campus.

Goodwill is one of the Louisville region’s largest nonprofits, with a local income of nearly $29 million in 2021.