Live HealthSmart Alabama and its partners are working to bring increased access to prevention and wellness, physical activity, and healthy eating back to Titusville.

Titusville, one of the first neighborhoods where Black/African Americans could own commercial or residential property, has had a long history filled with culture and community. Prior to its current name, the community was known as South Elyton and was home to Alice Furnace, one of the first blast furnaces in Birmingham. Industry in the area, paired with its proximity to the city, paved the way for it to be the location of Birmingham’s first airport.

In the early 1900s, Alice Furnace began to close parts of its operation and by 1940, it was inoperable. As industry began to develop in other parts of Birmingham and the country, Titusville saw a steep decline in residents and an increase in vacant houses.

In the 1960s, Titusville became the location of many key civil rights movements. The most famous of which was the place where Martin Luther King, Jr. penned his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Over the years, respected African Americans such as Wallace Rayfield, William Bell, and Condoleezza Rice, have all called Titusville home.

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Even with a history of heroism and strength, the effects of population migration are still being felt in the community. For current residents, this means a lack of healthcare and access to fresh, healthy foods.

Over the past 30 years, companies such as the Titusville Development Corporation have been serving members of their community with affordable housing, food pantries, GED preparation, job readiness programs, and more. Aligned with the goal of helping Titusville, Live HealthSmart Alabama has formed a strategic partnership with TDC to revitalize the neighborhood.

We, along with our partners, are working to bring increased access to prevention and wellness, physical activity, and healthy eating back to Titusville. And, with changes in the built environment, we hope to make Titusville a safer place while reducing health disparities via a mobile wellness van and mobile food market in the neighborhood.

As a community rooted in leadership, Titusville is ready to show how the courage of the past, will forge its future.