Safe & Healthy Homewood Coalition
Homewood is a small, urban city in Jefferson County, Alabama located within the Birmingham Metropolitan Area (pop. 1,151,801). The current population of Homewood is 25,678 which consists of 10,092 households; 3,039 with children under 18 years of age.
Homewood is a sought after place to live for several reasons. It is proximate to the City of Birmingham which is the operation center for several large employers. Interstate 65 transects the city, making commute time minimal. The school system is one of the best in the nation often receiving recognition in national school rankings. Homewood City Schools has three elementary schools, one middle school and one high school; the district serves approximately 4,200 students. The City also boasts an excellent Parks & Recreation Program and public library.
Diversity is another characteristic of Homewood that is celebrated. Much of the cultural diversity is driven by the city’s proximity to the world renowned University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Facility and Teaching Hospital. Individuals come from all over the world to work and study here. In 2010, the racial makeup of Homewood was 78% Caucasian, 14% African-American, 2% Asian, 4% from other races, and 2% from two or more races. 4% of the population identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino. According to a survey by the United Way 2.6% of the population identify as LGBTQ.
The population of Homewood is diverse in ways beyond racial composition. One significant area of diversity is the socioeconomic range among families in Homewood. According to the 2018 data, the median family income is $71,494; however, 28% of students qualify for federal lunch assistance.
Another significant area of diversity is in the housing composition of Homewood. Housing types range from government subsidized apartments to affluent suburban neighborhoods. According to current population data, Homewood has one of the highest population densities in Alabama. It is a land-locked, urban city that is only 8.3 square miles, bordered on all sides by other municipalities.
Homewood also boasts a diverse faith community. The faith community includes several Catholic churches, numerous protestant churches, and The Birmingham Islamic Society. No Jewish Synagogues are located in Homewood proper, but several in the neighboring City of Birmingham.
Homewood is also diverse in the residents’ political affiliations. Because Alabama is a “red” state, many Homewood residents put blue dot stickers on their cars. The blue dot symbolizes their “blue” party affiliation in a sea of red.
The Homewood community faces a serious threat due to the availability of illegal drugs. The Birmingham Metro area (including Homewood) is one of ONDCPs five High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (Gulf Coast). This community level threat translates to elevated substance use by Homewood youth which in 2015 was higher than the national average according to the Pride National Summary. Since receiving DFC funding in 2015 we have experienced a decrease in youth use of cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs. During that time period we have witnessed a sharp increase in youth use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).
The Safe & Healthy Homewood Coalition will continue to engage multiple sectors of the community in a continuous improvement process using the SPF and ensuring we are focusing on prevention strategies in all seven areas necessary for community level change. Based on Pride survey data, the Coalition will strive to reduce youth: marijuana, tobacco (nicotine), and underage alcohol use in the City of Homewood and within the student population of Homewood City Schools. The Coalition’s goal is to reduce youth use of these substances by 10% over the next five years while also strengthening the Coalition's capacity to achieve sustainability as a community-engaged prevention department within the School District by 2025.