ROANOKE, Va. (WSET) — Goodwill Industries of the Valleys is partnering with the City of Roanoke, public and non-profit partners, as well as community stakeholders to develop a new center in Northwest Roanoke.
The center will feature a grocery store, an adult high school, a wellness center, and banking services. The new center will be located at the existing Goodwill Roanoke Jobs Campus which is currently home to the corporate headquarters and program services offices located at 2502 Melrose Avenue, NW, Roanoke.
Goodwill has long been a proud member of the Northwest Roanoke neighborhood and is committed to contributing to the strength and resilience of the community.
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To support and build upon the years of work spearheaded by the NW Food Access Initiative and a group of community stakeholders, community partners, and area residents, the project will continue to ensure the center addresses the health disparities within the community.
The project will be driven by the needs of the community, recognize the community’s rich history, and honor the traditions of generations past.
The Goodwill Jobs Campus is a centralized location in the NW neighborhood and is well-positioned to engage with surrounding neighborhoods. The public face is now Melrose Avenue with opportunities along 24th Street and Salem Turnpike for additional engagement. Also, the location is very accessible as three distinct bus lines are located within a quarter-mile radius and bike lanes exist on surface streets.
“Goodwill is thrilled to help support the spirit and growth of the Northwest Roanoke community,” states Richmond Vincent, President & CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Valleys. “The new center in Northwest supports Goodwill’s strategic plan by providing needed services in the community it serves. Our current Roanoke Jobs Campus makes sense to be the location of the new center, and we will build on our strong partnerships with the City of Roanoke, local nonprofits, and other area businesses. These partnerships as well as an upcoming capital campaign will make this new project a reality.”
“Partnering with Goodwill on something so long needed by the community is a great opportunity,” adds Roanoke City Manager, Bob Cowell. “The partnership will deliver exactly what the Northwest neighborhood has long advocated for and needed, fulfills a key priority of the Mayor and Council, implements the top priority identified by the citizen advisory board established to aid the Council in their use of federal COVID-relief funds and complements well the services offered by Goodwill. I am thankful for all involved and most especially for the leadership at Goodwill in making this opportunity possible.”
The Market on Melrose, a full-service grocery store, will be an anchor for providing access to healthy and fresh foods, nutritional education, and improving food access. Through the inclusion of a grocery store in Northwest Roanoke, Goodwill will collaborate to provide access to fresh, healthy, affordable food options for area residents. This grocery store will not only improve healthy food access but also will provide employment opportunities for area residents.
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The Excel Center is a free, public school providing adults the opportunity to earn a state-recognized high school diploma and begin post-secondary education. In addition to a high school diploma, students earn industry-recognized certificates and/or college credits all at no cost.
The Excel Center in Northwest Roanoke will provide the resources necessary for students to achieve their goals. Resources include flexible employment, no-cost childcare, and transportation support, life coaching, connection to college and career choices, and job placement services. The Excel Center can move the needle on poverty in the Roanoke Valley which directly ties to Goodwill’s vision.
The Wellness Center will function as a holistic community center allowing residents to connect to a variety of physical and mental health resources. The wellness center will focus to increase and strengthen access to family services, promote a healthy community and improve the quality of life.
Banking services will be provided to residents through a financial center. It will also offer access to financial literacy and coaching services helping to improve the financial well-being of residents and support a thriving community.
The concept and design process continues to develop through the space needs of each of the programs. The project aims to be complete by the end of 2024.
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The Roanoke City Melrose Branch Library currently located at the Goodwill Jobs Campus will remain as part of the new center.
Program and service delivery remains critical to the delivery of Goodwill’s mission.
Chief Strategy Officer, Mary Ann Gilmer states, “Goodwill reiterates its pledge to the community through continuity of programming and service delivery to the Roanoke Valley. Goodwill is seeking a new location to relocate all existing programs. Stakeholders will be notified as a location is determined.”
For more information on the project, visit www.goodwillvalleys.com/restore or email CommunityEngagement@goodwillvalleys.com.