In 2017 the Memphis Medical District Collaborative (MMDC) contracted with Center for Transforming Communities (CTC) to lead community engagement efforts in an area of the Medical District north of Poplar Avenue, between Danny Thomas Blvd and I-240. This area is a patchwork of old residential, commercial, and industrial neighborhoods bisected by I-40 and has been, historically, defined by the Dixie Homes public housing project.
Today, it is a low-income inner-city neighborhood plagued by vacancy and blight but also with a rich history and many long-term residents who dream of a brighter future for their community. Unlike other parts of the Memphis Medical District, the residents of this area have no organized neighborhood association that represents the entire area or Community Development Corporation advocating for their interests. So, last year, CTC was asked to come work alongside this community to help them build relationships and articulate their shared vision for the future.
In June, CTC invited a task force of fifteen neighbors to participate in a community-based planning process. The first step was for the task force to interview nearly 100 neighbors about the things that they value most about their community and the things that they would like to see change. These interviews, along with focus groups in the community, will be the foundation for a planning document that will guide this community as they build on what is strong in their community and then leverage the many resources (such as the Uptown TIF and the MMDC resources) that are being invested in their part of Memphis.
Stay tuned! Shalom is on the loose in this neighborhood!