Just 20 minutes north of Birmingham, the town of Brookside (population 1,363) is a small pocket of nature and beauty next to the big city. The town sits on six square miles along the bank of Five Mile Creek, hence the name Brookside. A former mining town, it grew up around the Brookside Coal Mine, which opened in 1886. Original settlers were eastern European immigrants who flocked there in order to work in the mines. When the mines closed in the 1920s, Brookside saw economic troubles that have persisted ever since.
According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2013-2017 data:
- 41% of Brookside children live below the federal poverty line
- 45% of adults 25 or older do not have a high school diploma
- 33% of families have an annual income of less than $15,000 a year
Family-to-Family’s contact in Brookside is Josh Pierce of the Boys and Girls Club of Brookside. The club provides extensive after-school programs, including homework help and tutoring. When the school year is over, the club runs summer programs to keep area kids busy, healthy, fit, and happy.
A large number of the children served by the Brookside Boys and Girls Club live in poverty, with an estimated 80% qualifying for free lunch at school. Many are being raised by single mothers or grandparents, and live in public housing.
In Brookside, Family-to-Family works with the local Publix Super Market to provide monthly groceries for our sponsored families.
Brookside Boys & Girls Club
4199 Municipal Drive
Brookside, AL 35036
Data Source: Poverty & Education statistics – U.S. Census Bureau, 2016 American Community Survey