MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Every Tuesday as part of our community changers series, we highlight organizations making a positive impact in our city.
This week, we caught up with a group that improves the lives of all Memphians one wash cycle at a time.
When you head to the laundromat, you spend a lot of time waiting. South Memphis Alliance wanted to take advantage of people’s downtime and offer resources.
That is why they intentionally placed a resource center inside their Social Suds Laundromat on South Bellevue Blvd.
“While they’re waiting for their laundry, they can look at the resources we have available. They need to apply for utility assistance, any type of assistance that they’re needing to help benefit their lives, they can do that while they wait.”
Tiffany Turnage is the Program Director of South Memphis Alliance. They work to improve the knowledge, health and stability of young people, families and communities in South Memphis.
They have a computer lab onsite, thanks to Amerigroup, that allows people who are waiting on their laundry, to hop online and take care of business.
“They may need to do a resume, fill out an application, find housing or utility assistance. They’re able to utilize that room for free,” Tiffany said.
Oftentimes, kids are in tow when it’s time to do laundry. That is why they created the pinwheel playroom that has books and a tv to keep the kids occupied.
South Memphis Alliance also helps foster youth that have aged out of the foster care program.
“With the high numbers of foster youth, a lot of them end up being adults who are displaced in the housing market. Displaced in the job market,” Tijuana Miller told us.
Tijuana Miller is the advocate and education specialist.
“We want to help bridge that gap and make sure they got what they need to succeed in life later on,” Tijuana said.
South Memphis Alliance does just that by helping them get their GED, offer job training classes and placement as well as financial literacy programs.
We caught up with Georgia Fisher while she was doing laundry. She has a washer and dryer at home but comes to the Social Suds Laundromat to support them.
“I have a great granddaughter that I have custody of which was going to foster system. I know how hard it is,” Georgia told us. “That is why I started coming here. My resources going here can go back to help somebody else.”
That is why our anonymous donor wanted to give South Memphis Alliance $1,000.
Because when you come up with innovative ways to help your neighbors, you build a much stronger community. A true community changer.