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CityWorks: The Fairfield Initiative is a nonprofit organization dedicated to buying, restoring, and reselling to first-time home buyers formerly abandonded homes in Fairfield. The executive director is Janice Seamen.

CityWorks grew from a ministry of Christ Episcopal Church. When Reverend Gates Shaw first came to the church around 1988, he identified 78 abandonded homes within 10 blocks of the church. He enlisted the children of the church's Camp Rising Spirit to start cleaning up these properties and the entire neighborhood. Over time, he began to envision a larger project.

CityWorks was incorporated in January 2006. Houses bought by the organization are sold on the open market, typically for $50,000 to $85,000, but prospective buyers are interviewed, with the help of the Birmingham Home Ownership Center to ensure they have an interest in restoring the community and understand everything owning a home entails. Financing is usually handled through New South Federal Savings Bank. CityWorks has also become an interfaith organization, working with Cathederal Church of the Advent in addition to Christ Episopal.

Future CityWorks projects will include urban gardening and beautification, expanding a community watch, and organizing sports teams in nearby Fairfield City Park.


  • Plott, Bill (December 4, 2006). "Fairfield community works to revitalize itself." The Birmingham News
  • Smith, Barry Wise (March 2007). "Urban renewal." Portico, pp. 21-22.