The following section describes several key initiatives currently underway that are directly relevant to clients receiving housing assistance who receive or qualify for health and human services assistance.
A. One model of coordinated case management for households receiving housing assistance is that provided by Memphis HOPE, a non-profit organization created in 2006 to provide supportive services to MHA HOPE VI relocatees. By the time MHA received its third and fourth HOPE VI grants (Lamar Terrace and Dixie Homes), there were local stakeholders, including the housing authority, who saw the need for a more structured, intensive and comprehensive case management system to help move households toward economic self-sufficiency. The most important stakeholder to become involved in the HOPE VI redevelopment efforts was the Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis, who made a financial commitment to support the case management component, called Community and Supportive Services (CSS). They made a commitment to raise $7,200,000, to fund the entire cost of CSS for both HOPE VI developments. In addition to the financial resources, the Women's Foundation also brought a tremendous amount of leverage locally, bringing other stakeholders to the table to figure out how to offer more coordinated case management services. Through the strength of their Board of Directors and their relationships throughout the city, they have built a more comprehensive and coordinated social services program for HOPE VI residents.
During this time, MHA identified Urban Strategies as a key partner in providing technical assistance to the CSS program for the Lamar Terrace and Dixie Homes HOPE VI residents. Urban Strategies is the service arm of McCormack Baron Salazar, a HOPE VI developer based in St. Louis. In early summer 2006, Urban Strategies, MHA, and the Women's Foundation agreed to create a new non-profit organization, called Memphis HOPE, which would be responsible for case management for HOPE VI residents. The agency now serves not only all the relocatees from these two HOPE VI grants and the fifth HOPE VI grant awarded to Memphis (Cleaborn Homes), but also the residents in the one remaining public housing development (Foote Homes) who receive case management as part of a HUD grant (Resident Opportunities and Self-Sufficiency).
Using private funding and operating as a separate non-profit organization, Memphis HOPE has been more flexible in the programming they develop and more responsive to clients' needs over time. As the staff members of Memphis HOPE (the organization providing case management) have learned more about the individuals in their caseload, they have developed more strategic approaches to cultivate partnerships with programs that are more focused on the key barriers the clients were facing. They have continued to develop relationships with area public and nonprofit agencies to address specific issues among their clients.
B. A place-based model that has recently been implemented is managed by the Powerlines Community Network. This initiative operates under the auspices of Agape Child & Family Services, a Christian non-profit organization which provides and coordinates services to families in distressed neighborhoods and apartment complexes in Memphis. This initiative began in 2009, and now serves three neighborhoods, including:
• Whitehaven, focusing in and around Summit Park Apartments and Bent Tree Apartments.
• Hickory Hill/Southeast Memphis, focusing in and around the Autumn Ridge Apartments.
• Frayser/Raleigh (beginning December 2011), focusing in and around the Ashton Hills Apartments.
The Powerlines Community Network engages a wide range of partners, including area non-profits, churches, schools, branches of local government, and businesses. The services that the network provides to residents run the gamut, includes education, tutoring, resume and job search help, mental health services, public safety watch, and religious services. The Powerlines neighborhood coordinators have offices in the target apartment buildings, from which they provide services such as computer labs and workshops to help residents apply for benefits (e.g. SNAP). Agape itself provides direct services to families with housing need, including housing and services, provided on the condition that the head of household is able to contribute sixty dollars per month and is absent from home (in some sort of productive activity) for certain core hours of the day. During these core hours, an Agape employee is permitted to enter the home and ensure that the head of household is not present. This place-based effort is focusing on particular apartment communities (to date those funded by Low-Income Housing Tax Credits), and anticipates broadening their work into surrounding neighborhoods over time.
C. Community LIFT is a new organization that grew out of multiple conversations occurring in city agencies and local non-profits. These conversations led to a sweeping strategic planning report, Greater Memphis Neighborhoods: A Blueprint for Revitalization, which was produced by a partnership of local foundations, city agencies and local development associations to lead re-development on the neighborhood level.
Community LIFT launched in autumn 2011, with an Executive Director Eric Robertson who had been part of the strategic planning process. He hired a second staff member at the beginning of 2012, and is in the process of hiring staff to work in specific communities. The agency's goal is to work in the city's most distressed neighborhoods to foster community development around a single neighborhood plan. The organization has a strong emphasis on coordinating and engaging neighborhood-level stakeholders and it has plans to create a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that will lend money for development projects. Community LIFT has raised some funds from local foundations and businesses and is seeking additional support. Community LIFT is currently working in three neighborhoods: Greater Binghampton, Frayser, and Upper South Memphis and plans to set up a steering committee in each target community, consisting of neighborhood leaders and business leaders.
This Community LIFT place-based model arose from the realization that city-wide solutions to community economic development needed to be taken back down to the neighborhood level. However, part of the strategic planning process had been to identify community organizations with substantial capacity, as well as recognizing the need for an organization like Community LIFT to connect those neighborhood needs and assets to resources and planning efforts at the city level.
"Memphis Final Brief.pdf" (pdf, 717.21Kb)
"Appendix A-Focus Group Materials.pdf" (pdf, 174.61Kb)
"Appendix B-Maps.pdf" (pdf, 3.81Mb)