While new and renovated housing is the core of the community, Woodlawn has been enhanced by nearby businesses, retail amenities and services available to resident. Robust Coffee and Greenline Coffee are just two popular stops for commuters, students, and neighbors.
Joel moved his Sunshine Gospel Ministries to Woodlawn in 2007 and believes that the area is poised for even greater success. He hopes to identify hundreds of small entrepreneurs in and around the community – including those already operating small businesses – to help them increase their success.
While initial efforts were based in charity, the organization’s new approach focuses on development and creating self-sustaining entrepreneurs. “We were giving away services that people were using again and again, but we weren’t changing the circumstances of the people using the services,” says Joel. “We decided we need to work more in the direction of development and less in charity.”