(Memphis) At the Idlewild Court Apartments on Peabody Avenue, several families will soon go from being homeless to having homes.
For decades, Georgia King has worked to help the homeless and has volunteered with the Community Alliance to End Homelessness.
“It’s taken many years to get to this date. I’m very happy. I’ve been in to visit the apartments, which are so beautiful. It’s going to help so many families to be stabilized so they won’t have to go through homelessness any longer,” King said.
This $8 million public/private effort is called the Strong Families Initiative and Rapid Rehousing Program.
Katie Kitchen, the Community Alliance to End Homelessness executive director, said it’ll lead to a better and safer environment for families.
“There are mothers all across our city desperate to put a roof over their head who find themselves in unsafe situations where they or their children become victims of abuse,” Kitchens said.
The program also signals an end to the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association offering transitional housing by turning over and donating its 73 units to the North Memphis Community Development Corporation.
Sally Jones Heinz is MIFA’s executive director.
“If you can get families and get them in a stabilized environment, it’s going to make for a healthier family and case work management comes with both of these projects,” Heinz said.
The city and county, along with the faith-based community, also hope to help the homeless find jobs and, better yet, give them a second chance in life.
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said, “This is one aspect of getting people started in the right direction by putting a shelter over their head, give them a warm bed and start dealing with some of the wrap around issues and bring people back to productivity.”
Memphis City Mayor A C Wharton agreed with Luttrell.
“When you try to solve this situation with you’re here for two nights, there for a week, over here for a month, that’s traumatic. That’s why its such a significant move because this focuses on permanent, permanent housing for 900 families. That’s a big step,” Wharton said.