Through our interviews, we learned that there are a number of new, city-wide initiatives underway in Memphis, all intended to serve high needs populations and spur neighborhood-level development. Memphis has had severe poverty and employment problems for decades, but only recently have there been concerted efforts to address these challenges. Stakeholders we interviewed repeatedly talked about the recent change in mayoral leadership, for both the city and the county, as a key factor spurring this increased activity. The City and County mayors work closely together, and in many ways share a vision of what needs to happen in the community, particularly regarding poverty, education, and crime.
It is important to note that both new and continuing initiatives are operating at differing levels (e.g. city government, county government, nonprofit providers, public-private partnerships) and that some major services are provided by the city or county government only (rather than both). For example, our conversations with stakeholders indicated that all funding and authority for public health services (including clinics and mental health outreach) is provided by the state and administered via the county. Having different levels of government and private agencies involved in service delivery creates a number of challenges, including: (1) making it less likely that service providers will inform users of complementary services; (2) making it more difficult for service providers to provide services in a way that complements other available services; and (3) making it more difficult for service providers to share broadly relevant lessons learned and resources between agencies.
"Memphis Final Brief.pdf" (pdf, 717.21Kb)
"Appendix A-Focus Group Materials.pdf" (pdf, 174.61Kb)
"Appendix B-Maps.pdf" (pdf, 3.81Mb)