Shelby County gets $7 million to fight homelessness

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis and Shelby County area is $7 million closer to the goal of ending homelessness.

The area will receive one third of the $21 million the US Department of Housing and Urban Development gave Tennessee for homeless programs.

The city wants to end homelessness for individuals and veterans by 2016.

It is a big undertaking, especially when you look around and realize people are living in terrible conditions all across the city.

"We believe that we can do it. We are making strides now," Cornelius Sanders said.

Sanders and Tessica Eckford work for Promise Development Corporation which serves as a housing provider.

They have several programs that help house homeless individuals and families.

Their program, Memphis Strong Families Initiative, is getting more than a half million dollars from HUD.

"We actually do own properties. That is across five different sites," Eckford explained.

That means they will be able to provide housing for even more families.

"Once we house all the families we have money for, we will have housed 69 families. Right now, we are at 53," Eckford said.

Sanders said, while that is great news for the area, it also speaks volumes about the need here.

"Often we complain about West Tennessee been forgotten. But in this case, they didn't forget about us, because of the need that is so great here in our city."

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