* If you/your student previously attended a trip
Support the ongoing work of local organizations meeting the immediate needs in the city.
Louisville is a city of many pronunciations. Depending on who you talk to, it may be "Looavul," "Luhvul," "Loueville," "Looaville" or "Looeyville." Louisville is also becoming a city of many cultures. Thanks to a relatively low cost of living, economic development and a good ESL program in the public school system, this city has been a popular destination for refugees and immingrants from around the world. The growing population has brought increased need to the city, which in spite of its relative economic stability still deals with the typical urban problems of poverty and homelessness. There are many great organizations working to meet these needs, and the city of Louisville is also seeking to grow. In recent years the city has attracted a lot of new development and is becoming a popular destination for outdoor activities, sports and the arts. Currently the city is expanding its park system by adding 4,000 new acres of park land. Louisville is a city that offers hospitality, warmth and the charms of a river city.
Before Louisville was known for the Kentucky Derby or Louisville Sluggers, it was known for the shipping and cargo industries. Louisville was founded in 1778 as a port city; commerce was accessible from Pittsburgh to the Gulf of Mexico by way of the Ohio River and across the southeast through the L&N Railroad. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, industry boomed as factories popped up along the banks of the river; families migrated from rural Appalachia to the neighborhoods of West Louisville for the promise of well-paying factory jobs. Today, Louisville is still an important location in the shipping industry as the global air hub for UPS, and the convergence of three major highways – I-64, I-65, and I-71. But as the largest city in Kentucky and 27th largest city in the U.S. (43rd Metro), Louisville’s economy has diversified to include three Fortune 500 companies, the headquarters for GE Appliances, and two Ford Motor plants. Despite the mix of blue and white collar work available, the industrial work force has waned and the lower-income areas of West Louisville have felt pulled by the economic stress in ways the wealthier neighborhoods of East Louisville haven't. Still, the diverse economy makes Louisville a preferred place for refugee resettlement, as Louisville is also home to two refugee resettlement organizations – Catholic Charities and Kentucky Refugee Ministries. All this said, Louisville is city of paradox: a city that is being sent to the globe by way of shipping and cargo industries, and a city where the globe is being sent to it by way of refugee resettlement; a city where it is the best of times and the worst of times depending on your side of the economic spectrum; a city that is truly full or heritage and history, strengths and struggles. As we continue to learn from the community, YouthWorks is able to come alongside both kids and families feeling the generational effects of poverty and refugees resettling in America with the hope of a new life.