A new city-funded day work program is scheduled to launch this fall and I bet you can’t guess what it is?? Work Local, led by Hospitality Hub a local nonprofit homeless resource center, is a partnership between the City of Memphis and Hospitality Hub. This program will allow panhandlers to possibly work throughout the city cleaning up blight and to supply them with much needed resources/opportunities. The Downtown-based homeless resource center Hospitality Hub will send a van to pick up 10 panhandlers in Downtown and Midtown on Tuesdays and Thursdays, pay them $9 an hour for five hours, provide free lunch, optional counseling, and have any homeless shelter fees paid for the day.
The idea for this program was discovered by a board member while on a trip in Albuquerque, New Mexico spending the day with Calvary's Communities Ministries Coordinator Christine Todd, creator of the a Better Way Program. After the visit a Memphis team formed to form Work Local into a concept. Major Strickland’s administration team started working on this program when he took office in January. The city set aside $125,000 in this year’s operating budget to fund the program. There are other community partners contributing $15, 000 and The Hub is looking to raise $46,800 for the workers’ pay through a crowd funding program. Eventually the hope is for the program to expand to other parts of the city with more work days, more panhandlers and homeless people working, and for the program to no longer require public funding.
Some were quoted saying that this program is only touching the surface of our homeless problem, that what homeless people need most are homes, and that all homeless people aren’t capable of even working. The director of operations at Hospitality Hub, Kelcey Johnson basically explains why this program will assist with all issues and not just that of jobs. Johnson stated that one benefit of Work Local is the hub will find people who can't work and connect them to services they need, according to the Commercial Appeal.
"Now it’s about to come to fruition," Johnson said. "If you give a person a dollar, that really hasn't helped them much. [The Program] is going to reduce blight in the city ... you’re going to see a number of people exit homelessness, enter permanent housing, and get permanent jobs. And really, one person living outdoors is too many people living outdoors." Quoted by The Memphis Flyer, writer Joshua Cannon
The purpose of the program seems to be more than just offering the homeless an opportunity to make money but equip them with resources for them to better themselves and help them to exit homelessness. If we always worry about what isn’t being handled before doing anything at all we will never start to resolve the problem. What were we doing before to address the homeless and panhandling issue that was decreasing the numbers?? If no one ever thought to create homeless shelters everyone would be without shelter and if no one thought to supply the homeless with food and care packages then they wouldn’t have food or basic life necessities. S/O to my friend Candice Hampton and cousin Jamell Matthews, who have both assisted with aiding the homeless with their Feed The Homeless Projects and Care Packages. Check out Operations Candy Cares and Taylor’s World for community outreach projects!
I think this program is a great idea and I hope that leads to much success, help, and hope for our homeless community!
"We must do everything in this community that we possibly can to make sure every member of this community has the opportunity to lift themselves up from their circumstances in search of a better life," Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said at a press conference Wednesday. "This is a major step toward that." from the Commercial Appeal
Happy Classic Weekend!!! I’m sure you all are ready to get your weekend started. It should be full of food, Family, Friends, Parties, Football, and Fun!
Before you get started with all your festivities I wanted to share my fun from last weekend! My 26th birthday was last Sunday, September 4th! Yes I’m a Virgo and I share my birthday with BEYONCE!!! However, you didn’t ask me that so back to what’s important. On the Saturday before my birthday I had a bartending class executed by Carmen Mott of Applesauce Bartending. Carmen is a Memphis native, who received her Master of Mixology Certificate from The Crescent School of Gaming and Bartending in Robinsonville, MS.
I contacted Carmen about an idea for my birthday in January of this year (My birthday is always a big deal to me. I have to be ready in advance), she immediately told me she could create what I was looking for. When I tell you all that it was EVERYTHING and an amazing start to 26! Carmen created a class called “Mix, Shake, & Sip” where we would learn how to make four different cocktails, with up to 15 participates, take home a cocktail recipe card, and a certificate of completion.
Carmen comes to where your party is being held, brings all your bartending tools, the alcohol that comes in your alcohol package, fruit to garnish with, bar snacks, and minimum decorations. Her personality and professionalism is immeasurable. She made us laugh, take shots, and enjoy ourselves. She gets to your location 2 hours before your party starts to setup and will not allow you to help her setup if you’re the birthday person. I had an amazing time and all of my friends thanked me for inviting them, raved about Carmen, and said they would be contacting her for their own events!
Pictured below are our cocktails! Unfortunately I am missing one cocktail due to the class working effectively!
If you like to learn new things, drink, laugh, and spend time with loved ones this is for you. Book Applesauce Bartending if you have a party coming up, need a bar tender ,or want to have a bartending class to do something different. Her cocktails are deliciously sneaky and she is reasonably priced! The link for her website is listed below, click it NOW!
Good afternoon good people!! I have great and exciting news!!
Have you all heard about the $5 million grant awarded to Memphis by Reimagining the Civic Commons?? The grant is for the redevelopment of Memphis' Fourth Bluff Project. Apparently four blocks of property in Downtown Memphis that include Cossit Library, Memphis Park, and Mississippi Park will be getting a serious make over. According to the Commercial Appeal the prototype events along the fourth bluff began last fall with a Tiger Tailgate event at the law school and a pop-up Hattiloo Theatre performance at Cossitt. Some of the preliminary ideas for the area include a grilling station, a playground, other outdoor recreations at Mississippi River Park, reading gardens, a café, public art, outdoor furniture, music, food, and games.
The ultimate plan for this project is to take on the civic infrastructure that is “underfunded and underused” to create an environment that bridges the residents of the Memphis community together. Displaying an atmosphere for them to come together to experience new things and culture.
But the bluff isn’t the only area looking to bring new additions and renovations to the City of Memphis. The University District- Highland Row, also referred to as the TIF District, is hoping to continue development along Highland Avenue. If approved by the State the district would include 601 tax parcels (a division of land developed for the sole purpose of creating a complete, accurate, and equitable unit of taxation in support of tax payers) on or near highland. Supplying The Tiff District with 83.4 million over 20 years, with 22.8 percent of that being reinvested in the district by Economic Development Growth Engine, and the rest going to the city and county. Mayor Strickland and University of Memphis President David Rudd attended City Council meeting on Tuesday in support of the University District proposal.
Looks like Memphis is trying to regain it's spot as a major southern city and ready to compete with the evolution of time! Hopefully there is more areas of redevelopment to come and we can get some of our high poverty areas equipped with much needed funding.