Memphians Head To Washington D.C. To Discuss City Issues

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(Memphis) A group of Memphians is headed to D.C. to make Memphis a better place.

They're meeting with government agencies in our nation’s capital to see what can be done to fight many problems in the area and get more federal dollars to do it.

Sunday, Charlie Caswell showed us around The Baby Store in Frayser. It’s a program that helps teen parents buy much-needed items for their babies, just by staying in school.

“When we started this program, we found out a lot of youth were keeping diapers on their children longer than they should, causing diaper rash. They couldn’t afford to buy a pack of diapers,” said Caswell.

There are three other stores like this one in Memphis.

“We know the Shelby County infant mortality rate went down because of some the money that Frayser received,” said Johnnie Hatton who volunteers with the store.

That’s why Monday, a group of folks will sit down with movers and shakers in Washington DC to talk about problems plaguing the city and go through training to fight the issues.

It’s all part of a $225 thousand dollar grant through the Building Neighborhood Capacity Program. The program helps expand resources that already exist and make them reach more people. Resources like The Baby Store. The group also wants to tackle crime, blight and health problems.

“Our hope is for them to say, because of that issue and because you are working lets continue building relationships and continue to fund the programs,” said Hatton

Hatton says it’s not just up to the group and the government to help solve issues in the city.

“Our community is coming together and saying, this is not a problem for Mayor Wharton or Mayor Luttrell, this is a problem for our community,” said Hatton. 

The organizers want the training they get to inspire Memphians and have hope things will get better.

“It’s something when a child can walk down the street and throw a piece of paper on the ground like its nothing. But when they see us a community work to pick up that trash, it gives them hope to say the community is worth fighting for.,” said Caswell.

They are hoping you will fight also.

Friday morning at 10 a.m., a community meeting will be held at the Frayser Community Center on North Watkins.