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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Homelessness, crime and lack of education are all problems we’ve seen here in Memphis. Carmilla Wheeler can relate to that and is working to help families turn their lives around.  

“Me and my three kids we were homeless at one point, we had to sleep in our car,” she recalled. “Even at one point I only had $5 and I have three boys and me. So, two of us had to go without eating.” 

She didn’t have money, an education or a place to turn. She said without God and her faith, she wouldn’t be here today to share her story.  

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Fast forward to this month, Wheeler is cutting the ribbon to her own office building inside Southland Mall for her organization called Image Builders. It is a non profit fighting poverty.  

 “The need is in the community, so why wouldn’t you place yourself there if you are one of the answers to the need,” she said.  

Before opening their own location, Image Builders never had its own place workers could go to. All the work was done in the spaces that needed the organization the most, like apartment buildings from South to North Memphis.  

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“It does something to see people where you used to be and to really give them a genuine hope,” said Wheeler.  

“It makes my heart feel good because I know being a part of some of the things we’ve done here I know it’s made me feel special, made me feel important. So for kids who are in the community who really, really needed that, I can’t imagine what it felt like to them to have someone who cared for them and was looking out for them,” she added.  

Image Building is all about changing the way people see themselves and their lives.