5 things you need to know about an amazing community project near Protective Stadium

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Protective fortified roof
Celebrating the FORTIFIEDTM roof on one Norwood resident’s home. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Since fall of 2021, Protective has been working with a number of organizations and individuals to improve the roofs of 171 homes near Protective Stadium. On Thursday, February 2, we visited two Northside homes that have received new roofs as part of this life-changing project. Here’s what we learned.

1. Protective Stadium has been a catalyst for the surrounding neighborhoods

Legion
Legion Practice at Protective Stadium (Bham Now)

When I think of Protective Stadium, I think of The World Games opening and closing ceremonies, the Garth Brooks concert and Birmingham Legion and USFL games. I didn’t realize, though, that the mere existence of the stadium has served as a catalyst to the surrounding neighborhoods.

Here’s how:

  • A public-private collaboration, spearheaded by Protective, has re-roofed more than 70 homes to the FORTIFIEDTM standard, which can reduce damage from winds of up to 130 miles per hour.
  • 100 more homes are slated to receive new roofs in 2023, for a grand total of 171 homes.
  • Qualified homeowners can receive as much as $25K to repair their homes and install a new storm-resistant roof.
  • In addition, Protective employees have been:
    • Helping residents on cleanup days
    • Reading to students each month at Phillips Academy
    • Providing math tutors, and
    • Are sponsoring a Birmingham Talks age 4 months to 4 years cognitive development program for the neighborhood.

Many more plans are in the works based on guidance from Northside residents.

2. 6 major organizations are collaborating on the effort

Protecting Good Media Day
Mark Fowler, Commissioner of the Department of Insurance shaking hands with Rich Bielen, President + CEO of Protective Life Corporation. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

It takes a lot of collaboration to make big changes like this happen. The following groups have come together for the Protecting Good: Strengthen, Repair and Connect program:

  • Protective: worked with community partners to support the communities around Protective Stadium, providing seed funding and helping to address critical needs by connecting grant programs.
  • City of Birmingham: has played a key role in this public-private collaboration through their Community Development Block Grant program, which provides resources for community development needs.
  • Jefferson County + Birmingham City Officials: The Jefferson County Commission through Commissioner Sheila Tyson and Birmingham City Council members J.T. Moore, District 4 + LaTonya Tate, District 9 have been supporting this program for residents in their districts.
  • Alabama Department of Insurance’s Strengthen Alabama Homes program: provides grants to Alabama residents for installing a FORTIFIEDTM roof for residential wind mitigation on existing, owner-occupied, single-family homes.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham: is managing the construction on the Northside homes.
  • Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS): brings together science + action to strengthen homes, businesses + communities against natural disasters + other causes of loss. Their FORTIFIEDTM roof construction is designed to strengthen homes against severe weather, including high winds, hurricanes + tornadoes.

“It has been incredibly rewarding to see the Protecting Good program come to life for the greater benefit of our city and neighbors. Equally rewarding are the relationships Protective has built through this process. By establishing strong connections with other community-minded organizations, along with the residents in these neighborhoods, we have discovered new opportunities where we can be better neighbors and protectors of our community.”

Rich Bielen, President + CEO, Protective Life Corporation

3. Homeowners in 5 neighborhoods were eligible for the roof repair program

Vulcan Park Museum 431 5 things you need to know about an amazing community project near Protective Stadium
View of downtown Birmingham from Vulcan Park & Museum (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Homeowners in five Northside neighborhoods were eligible to apply for support to renovate and reroof their homes:

  • Druid Hills
  • Fountain Heights
  • Norwood
  • Evergreen
  • Central City

4. Northside has a rich history

MLK Birmingham
50th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. observed on April 4, 2018 at Kelly Ingram Park. (Kristina O’Quinn / Bham Now)

“Our Northside community has served our city well. It has been the battleground for the Civil Rights Movement, the birthplace of many of our heroes and a place for families to live, love and grow. Together, with these amazing partners, we honor them by gathering up our resources to help make their homes a safe place of pride. My hope is that this is just the beginning of more partnerships and more support of our residents throughout Birmingham.”

Mayor Randall Woodfin

5. Cities across the country can learn from what is happening here

Protecting Good Media Day
Mayor Randall Woodfin speaking at the Protecting Good Media Day. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

One thing I was fascinated to learn is that Alabama has more FORTIFIEDTM homes than all other states combined, making us a leader in this arena. In addition, the partnerships that have made this project possible can be copied in other places across the country.

Funding for the program comes from three major sources:

  • The Alabama Department of Insurance’s Strengthen Alabama Homes (SAH) program
  • The City of Birmingham’s Community Development Block Grant
  • Protective Life Corporation

“Every family deserves a strong home that can withstand the severe weather it faces. By convening public and private programs, Protective and the City of Birmingham created a template that cities across the country can use to remove complexity, reduce barriers and help ensure that their citizens are better prepared for the next storm.”

Roy Wright, CEO, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)

Learn more about Protecting Good today. Also, Protective is hiring.

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Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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