Working together to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty and improve equity of opportunity in our neighborhoods

Our Mission & Vision

Providing the components for a thriving community

Our mission is to develop and implement creative community-based strategies to enhance economic opportunity, build healthy sustainable neighborhoods, and improve early childhood education in the Mill District.

Our vision is for residents to have access to high quality education, quality affordable housing, and economic opportunity. We are resident-centered with a focus on growing a sense of community.

Our Purpose

Creating opportunity and better access for all

The purpose of the Mill District is to implement positive, holistic changes to help move the community forward.

Today, residents of the Mill District have an average household income of $19,374 and roughly 46% of households live at or below the poverty line. Despite these economic challenges, there remains a high level of community care, and we are working to realign the community values with better outcomes. It is a long-term commitment, but it is necessary to move our community forward and improve the quality of life for those who live here.

Our History

Building off a legacy of enterprise and hard work

The Mill District is a defined project area of Columbus, GA that encompasses four historic neighborhoods: City Village, North Highland, Bibb Village, and Anderson Village. This community was built in the early 1900s to provide residential housing for families working in nearby textile mills. During desegregation, rather than integrating the housing, the mill companies sold off their housing stock to white tenants.

By the 1980’s, as industry receded, these neighborhoods lost economic viability, leading to increased crime, drug abuse, prostitution, and widespread poverty. Today, this community of 5,000 is about 50% Black and 50% White. Housing is primarily rental, with an owner occupancy rate of only 12%.

Civic leaders recognized the need to develop community-based strategies to address growing poverty and disinvestment in the area. The experience of creating a Master Plan for one of the neighborhoods revealed the need for a larger effort to make a meaningful difference throughout the community. This led to the eventual formation of The Mill District 501(c)(3).

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