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A Game-Changer for Louisville! New Goodwill facility brings top-notch and long-neglected offerings to West Louisville

By: Gill Holland

Photos provided by: Goodwill Industries of Kentucky

It has been said that Louisville is a town of neighborhoods. Most folks stick close to their neighborhoods, except for downtown excursions to Actors Theatre for a play, the Yum Center for a game or concert, or NuLu for its fabulous food, bars, and local shopping scene. So most folks are probably unaware of the game-changing $120 million investment that has happened in West Louisville over this past year.

For those of us who have bemoaned the various bad decisions made by city leaders over the decades that led to Broadway being a less than attractive boulevard for pedestrians, Louisville now has at, 28th and Broadway, an attractive and huge building built right up to the sidewalk with parking in the rear (as it should always be in urban settings).

“The investment that Goodwill is making in West Louisville is more than a 125,000 square foot building,” said DeVone Holt, Chief External Affairs Officer for Goodwill Industries of Kentucky. “It’s a bold symbol of hope for people in a community that has been overlooked and underserved for decades.”

The building is airy, spacious, with wireless and room for all, and to be clear, 125,000 square feet is about three acres under roof! The $50 million Goodwill ‘Opportunity Campus’ paired with a $70 million Norton HealthCare Center adjacent on the southern Parkland side. This represents the first medical center built west of 9th Street in over 100 years. The two facilities occupy twenty acres and there is a sheltered bus stop right in front. When a group of us toured it this past month, they were still working on the sidewalks, the parking area, doing final painting, and they were in the early stages of building out a café which Blak Koffee will operate. Blak Koffee is the hugely popular coffee shop in Russell on Jefferson and 12th and already a destination for morning meetings for many.

After getting input from about 3,000 west Louisville residents about what the assets, challenges, needs and desires of local residents were for the area and the facility, Holt adds, “never before has our city seen a coming together of programs, services and organizations like the ones that will exist on the Norton Healthcare Goodwill Opportunity Campus.”

Coming together under one roof to partner in this endeavor will be Kentuckiana Works, Big Brothers Big Sisters, YMCA, Volunteers of America (VOA), Park Community Credit Union, Kentucky College of Barbering, the University of Louisville College of Dentistry and Legal Aid Society.

There will be drop-in childcare, and a community room for everything from Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to gatherings and birthday parties.

The wi-fi will be strong in the Technology Center, since residents of West Louisville have low rates of internet and computer access. Park Community Credit Union will help with second chance banking for folks in need, as well as financial literacy.

While all the groups just started moving in during February, the grand opening is slated for late March. The entire community is involved in many ways, from where the financing came from, to you, the reader, as a future volunteer! The city of Louisville under Mayor Craig Greenberg committed $5M, the James Graham Brown Foundation $1M, and there were many other major contributions from PNC, Gheens Foundation, Jewish Heritage Fund, First Financial Bank, Truist Bank, to name a few. For me, the biggest AHA! moment was learning that Goodwill employees themselves believe in this project so much that they together have donated $180,000!! That is a LOT of money (and buy-in) from a group of hard-working folks that are not necessarily earning a lot.

The Goodwill Opportunity Center will employ about 200 people at around $60k/year — great jobs in an area where the average income now is about $21k. The HealthCare Center will offer another 300 or so jobs. Together, the campus will deliver an unprecedented collection of services that will serve 65,000 local residents, and prepare thousands of people for new and better career opportunities.

“It’s no secret that the people of west Louisville are burdened with more than their fair share of our city’s woes, but this 20-acre campus that Goodwill is building with Norton Healthcare is a transformative approach to support residents who are looking for a ‘hand up’ in life,” said DeVone Holt.

“At Goodwill, we meet wonderful people who only need an opportunity, who need a ‘hand up’ and then just watch them go. They do great things. They just constantly amaze us,” Luttrell said. “Our goal is for the West Louisville Opportunity Center to help move people from deep poverty all the way to the middle class.”

For those who would like to learn more, updates can be had at, and the social media channels @goodwillky!


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