The Full Story
The vision of the Prosperity Community Development Council (“PCDC") is to enhance the quality of life for citizens living in the City of Prichard, Alabama through coordinated grassroots community programs, environmental management, resiliency planning and economic development designed to create employment opportunities and family financial stability.
The City of Prichard covers an area of approximately twenty-five (25) square miles in central Mobile County, Alabama and is bounded by the cities of Mobile, Saraland and Chickasaw.
The City was incorporated in 1925 and by 1947 the population peaked at approximately 47,000. However, in the early 1960s the loss of several major regional employers started a population and economic descent that continues to the current time. Today the population of Prichard, AL is approximately 21,500.
The Prichard community is approximately 86% Black or African American, 13% White and 1% Other. Median household income is approximately $25,000, while the median household income for the State of Alabama as a whole is approximately $50,000. Today, only 49% of Prichard’s citizens over 16 years old are considered participants in the civilian labor force. The median value of housing in the City of Prichard is approximately $66,000 while the median for the State of Alabama is $122,700.
A vast majority of the residencies in Prichard are single occupancy wood-frame homes built between 1940 and 1960. There are approximately 9,935 individual residences in Prichard. Forty-three percent (43%) of these are owner occupied, thirty-five percent (35%) are renter occupied and twenty-two percent (22%) are vacant.
During the last five decades of economic decline, the city’s residents have been victims of closed stores, abandoned homes and deteriorating infrastructures. Through it all, the residents have kept a remarkable loyalty to the culture of their City and to their individual neighborhoods. In most cases, the faith-based communities have helped maintain community pride and a sense “place.” An emphasis on personal and community pride in local schools has helped improve graduation rates while also encouraging parental involvement.
The mission of PCDC is to harness the talents and capabilities of talented citizens and focus on community development projects that will bring long-term changes by creating jobs, providing social support mechanisms, improving residential communities, and restoring faith in the City’s future promise.
PCDC will supplement existing community organizations/agencies in order to concentrate funding for maximum benefit. In addition, PCDC will work to attract greater support from federal, state, foundation, corporate and university
sources that will assist with the development of a geographic region rather than a single community. Specifically, the PCDC will focus its efforts primarily in the following areas:
Promoting affordable/safe housing and neighborhood improvements
Promoting local infrastructure improvements and community planning
Encouraging community based cultural events
Promoting life-long learning and social opportunities
Encouraging the development of parks and recreational areas for citizens
Improving access to healthcare
Increasing the quality and quantity of jobs available within the region with special focus
on micro-enterprises that target disadvantaged members of the community
Providing workforce training through collaborations with local community colleges,
universities and workforce development organizations
Enhancing public and private partnerships to address economic development needs in the
Protecting and promoting the diversification of the city’s citizenry
Supporting smart community growth and development
Encouraging the development of local research centers in these communities
Funding for these and other objectives will be provided through gifts and grants from individuals, corporations, and foundations with an interest in supporting the programs and mission of the Prosperity Community Development Council. In addition, PCDC will seek project support from state and federal grants.