Pam Denham

Aim is to beautify Oakdale Neighborhood in downtown Mobile, AL

MOBILE, Ala. (November 10, 2015) -- Suzanne Winston & Associates, a Mobile, AL-based company that works to restore and preserve historic homes in the area, is hosting a community cleanup day in conjunction with the City of Mobile in the Oakdale neighborhood off Virginia Street on Saturday, Nov. 14 from 8 to 11 a.m.

The Oakdale Neighborhood Revitalization Project day “Great Neighborhood Clean-up” will consist of volunteers coming into this neighborhood and working to clean it up, cut grass and plant trees. There will be volunteers working in yards, help from a local church, local handymen working on the homes, nonprofit groups mowing the grass or planting trees, and the city sending some workers to just “beautify the area,” according to Suzanne Winston, founding owner of SWA.
Volunteers are instructed to meet at Council Traditional School located at 751 Wilkinson St. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with cleanup continuing through 11 a.m. in the neighborhood. Marcos Pizza will then provide lunch for volunteers at Council Traditional School at 11 a.m. following a morning of cleanup. Service Hours Documentation is also available. Those interested in volunteering may email fixandflipqueen@gmail.com.

The idea for the neighborhood cleanup event came to Winston while she was working to restore two duplexes she purchased in the area with her partner Bart Greer. Winston observed many vacant and boarded-up homes in the neighborhood and realized many others were inhabited by elderly couples who appeared to be having a hard time keeping up with repairs. Seeing the area was in dire needed of a lift, she realized this could be her way to help those less fortunate and possibly begin to change the cycle of poverty and blight in the area.

With that, she decided to focus on the area around the two homes she was already working on, and has since finished a third and started a fourth. This activity has spurred others to come and do the same. Winston says as she continues to renovate homes in the area she wants to employ labor from the neighborhood when possible since many are out of work. Her long-term vision for the neighborhood is to rent the houses back out to single mothers or working poor in the area and provide extra support to those working multiple jobs. That support may be in the form of financial counseling or just having someone assist children with homework after school.

“In the years since I’ve been out of the news business full time I realized I was becoming insulated to poverty that exists right around the corner,” Winston said. “This is the way that I can use my skills to give back to the community. I think it could be the beginning of something really positive in an area that has seen its better days.” Prior to her real estate career, Winston was formerly a seasoned news reporter. (Photo: Suzanne Winston)

The positive activity has already motivated neighbors to begin working on their homes, and Winston decided to take this a step further and bring in some extra help from the community.

This special event is sponsored by Suzanne Winston & Associates, Litters Don’t Litter, Keep Mobile Beautiful and Marcos Pizza. For more information on this event, call 251-209-3387 or visit www.cityofmobile.org.

About Suzanne Winston & Associates (SWA)
Suzanne Winston & Associates (SWA) is a real estate investing firm specializing in renovation, historic preservation, consultation and design on the Gulf Coast. SWA provides a seamless, turnkey real estate experience to help those in any stage of the real estate process involving a historic structure. From management and design to decorating and helping clients get their properties ready to list, SWA covers all aspects to make projects easier on clients. Call 251-209-3387 or visitwww.suzannewinston.com to learn more.

About Suzanne Winston
Suzanne Winston has been working in design and restoration for the past 15 years. In her first two years, she successfully remodeled and sold 11 cottages in Fairhope and has since flipped more than 150 single and multifamily properties. Winston is a member of the National Trust for the Preservation of Historic Properties and is on the Baldwin County Architectural Review Board. She has previously served as a past chair for the Fairhope Historic Homes Tour and as vice president of the Montrose Historic Society. Before getting into this business, Suzanne worked as a television journalist for 13 years. She lives in Montrose, Ala., with her husband, Stephen, and son Tripp.


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