There are many nicknames for this area of North Memphis—
7th Street, Caldwell, Bearwater, Bickford, Uptown.
No matter what you call it, we call it home.
An Underserved Neighborhood
Located North of the Pyramid, the geographical boundaries of this community are: Pear Avenue to the North, Manasses Street to the East, Chelsea Avenue to the South, and 2nd Street to the West. Ironically, in the late 1960s, this area of town was thriving! Upon the closing of Firestone and other local businesses, pride and the value of life began to decline. This is now one of the poorer neighborhoods in the country.
The need is great. God’s command is clear.
If any of your people become poor and unable to support themselves, you must help them.
– Leviticus 25:35
The Hard Facts
The grueling statistics reveal the painful reality of poverty in our own backyard.
The stats are tough: In 2017 Memphis ranked as the 6th most economically distressed city in the country. In 2018 the FBI list had us as the 3rd most violent city and according to census data the second poorest large city. The following neighborhood statistics reinforce the desperate need in our community ravaged by the effects of poverty, but also some positive trends over the past couple of decades.
- Median household income $9,019 $19,967
- % living below the poverty line 81% 40%
- High school graduate (or GED) 45% 71.6%
- Bachelor’s Degree 1.5% 16.2%
- Unemployment rate 30.5% 19.1%
- % of adults being married 12.5% 20%
Event though the statistics are challenging – God has done some encouraging work seeing some marked improvement (above). However, some of the newer statistics available (below) still show the huge need in the community:
- The median home price is only $20,800
- Only 18% of people actually own their home
- 29.9% of housing sits vacant
- More than 48% of the land sits vacant