Author: Laura Harbert Allen and Taylor Sisk

Benjamin Clemente, a volunteer with experience in food handling, poses for a portrait before serving lunch at Bream Memorial Presbyterian Church's Neighborhood SHOP on Friday, May 5, 2023, in Charleston, West Virginia. Clemente, who is originally from Massachusetts, said he began volunteering at Bream two months ago. The Neighborhood SHOP offers a variety of services, including a shower program, food pantry, clothing closet, laundry machines, locker storage, and warm meals, to individuals in need. Photo: Lexi Browning/100 Days in Appalachia

In One Community, Faith-based Services Fill the Gaps When Government Can’t – or Won’t

On a Friday afternoon, the washers and dryers run nonstop at Bream Memorial Presbyterian Church, in Charleston, West Virginia. Three bright-white tiled shower rooms line one wall. MREs – Meals Ready-to-Eat – sit on shelves behind a small wooden reception desk.  On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the church serves lunch […]

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Sunshine illuminates the streets of Elk City on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, in Charleston, West Virginia. Photo: Lexi Browning/100 Days in Appalachia

Gentrification or Revitalization? Investment on the West Side a ‘Litmus Test’ for Inclusive Economic Development

Depending on who you ask, the development of the Elk City district on the West Side of Charleston, West Virginia, is either “gentrification” or “revitalization” – though some will say both.  Karen Williams, a lifelong Charleston resident who grew up on the West Side, says the transition from homes and […]

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Rev. Matthew J. Watts poses for a portrait at Grace Bible Church on Wednesday, July 19, 2023, in the West Side community of Charleston, West Virginia. Watts, who is from Mount Hope, West Virginia, earned his education in engineering at the West Virginia Institute of Technology and worked as a civil engineer at Union Carbide before he felt ÒcalledÓ to ministry in 1996. This year marks his 27th at Grace Bible Church. Photo: Lexi Browning/100 Days in Appalachia

Federal COVID Money Could Help Solve One Largely Black Community’s Complex Problems. W.Va. Leaders Invested it Elsewhere.

Karen Williams’ father, Charles Price, was the first Black graduate of West Virginia University’s College of Law, one of two land grant institutions in the state. His office once sat on Court Street, in Charleston, West Virginia’s Triangle District. As a child during the civil rights struggles of the 1950s […]

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