Additional Funding from Downtown Memphis Commission and Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau Creates New Opportunities for Work Local Program
Work Local Program Made Stronger through Additional Funding
More Days, Higher Wages and Expanded Footprint
Work Local, a Downtown-centric program providing work opportunities for homeless Memphians is expanding its scope with help from additional funding from the Downtown Memphis Commission and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau. The program, which is run by Hospitality Hub with primary funding from the City of Memphis, will begin five-day per week services in Downtown in early February 2018.
Hospitality Hub began the initial phase of this program in November 2016, providing paid $9 per hour work shifts and a hot meal at the end of each five-hour shift. Since that time, more than 400 participants have taken part in the program, which provides trash-collection and other sanitation services. The program and its participants are responsible for completing nearly 200 blight-reduction projects during the first year in operations. The new plan will create two shift times with eight miles of Downtown coverage per shift, more than doubling the current scope and the pay-rate for workers will increase from $9 to $10 per hour.
“We are really encouraged by the initial results of this initiative and agreed to help fund the expansion, but the program still needed other local partners,” stated Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “We are proud to see the Downtown Memphis Commission and CVB step up in support of this innovative initiative and the positive impact it has on our Downtown.”
The Work Local initiative is designed to create a safer alternative to panhandling and has succeeded in providing a cost-effective program for reducing trash and blight in the Downtown core. The new proposed program boundaries will run from Exchange on the north to G.E. Patterson on the south, and from Front Street on the west to Danny Thomas on the east.
“We have witnessed the transformation this initiative has created in our Downtown,” stated Jennifer Oswalt, CEO and president of the Downtown Memphis Commission. “We are thrilled to put resources toward a program with such a strong dual focus – remediating blight and providing meaningful work to some of our most needy.”
“The impact of this program is visible all across our Downtown, the efforts of Hospitality Hub support our mission of offering a welcoming environment to visitors who travel to Memphis from all around the world,” said Kevin Kane, CEO and president of the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Most importantly, this effort truly serves the greater good of our community by providing support to those most in need.”
Additional funding provided by the Downtown Memphis Commission and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau will be used to both support the expanded shifts and to extend the geographic footprint of the program.
“We are proud of what this program was able to do in two days per week during the initial trial,” stated Jarad Bingham, chief strategist of Hospitality Hub. “When expanded to five days, we feel the impact on the lives of our participants and our Downtown will be great and we are excited about what’s to come.”
About Hospitality Hub
Hospitality Hub is a 501C3 in operation since 2007. We strive to fulfill a 30-year legacy of providing homeless services and resources in Downtown by helping individuals begin their journey out of homelessness.
For more information, visit our facebook page.
About the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau and Memphis Management Group, operator of the Memphis Cook Convention Center, support the local economy and the community's positive image through tourism and convention development, major events and destination marketing. The hospitality and tourism industry in Memphis currently supports over 35,000 tourism-related jobs that produce $623 million in annual payroll. In 2016, 10.5 million people visited Memphis, generating over $3 billion in expenditures and the collection of $158 million in state and local sales taxes from visitors.
Visit memphistravel.com to learn more about Memphis as a vacation or meetings & conventions destination.
About the Downtown Memphis Commission
The Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC), formerly known as the Center City Commission, is an independent development agency charged with advancing Memphis and Shelby County by making Downtown Memphis a better place to work, live, learn, invest and visit. The DMC represents the official partnership between local government and the private business community in Downtown's development. Downtown Memphis Commission is the current manager of Beale Street. The work done by the DMC benefits all of Memphis and Shelby County by developing a stronger and more vibrant city core. The DMC is not funded by any city or county taxes.
For more information on the Downtown Memphis Commission, or one of our five affiliate boards, please visit downtownmemphiscommission.com.