Monday, October 28, 2019
Member Monday Spotlight: The Heights Community Development Corporation
Jared Myers, Executive Director
How was the Heights CDC started?
The Heights CDC began organizing in 2013 and was officially established in 2016. A small group of residents who went to Christ Community Church completed a community survey with 80 families to find out how the church could best serve the neighborhood. The results of that survey showed that residents wanted better housing and a safer community. The Binghampton Development Corporation was awarded a Building Neighborhood Capacity Program grant under President Obama’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, and the BDC deferred that grant to the neighborhood north of Highland/Mitchell Heights. The BNCP allowed our community to build capacity and start our own CDC for the neighborhood. The Heights CDC is the organization that is helping to facilitate and implement our neighborhood’s revitalization plan.
What is your current focus?
The Heights neighborhood, like many other communities in Memphis, has been disinvested in for several decades. We were once a thriving community, but now we struggle with blighted housing and lack of access to public spaces to gather and recreate. The Heights CDC is fighting blight by rehabbing homes and providing quality, affordable housing for families. We are also addressing our community’s need for public space by working on a linear park development called the Heights Line.
How can people help address the needs of your community?
The Heights neighborhood is in the heart of Memphis and simply needs reinvestment. We have a neighborhood saying, “We rise by lifting others.” There are many schools, organizations, churches and businesses that have shared this mantra, and we invite others to join us.
Memphians can be a part of investing in the Heights through monetary donations that allow homes to be restored. You can volunteer your time to mentor students or participate in a community cleanup. We also encourage individuals to stay connected by attending neighborhood events and by building relationships with our partner organizations. We have active social media outlets and a monthly newsletter that will keep you informed on how you can also Rise by Lifting Others.
What accomplishments are you proud of?
The Heights CDC’s greatest accomplishment is our development of relationships with residents and community partners. We love this neighborhood and the people who make it beautiful. We take pride in being led by residents and supporting the neighborhood associations, schools and organizations who work tirelessly to reinvest in our community. Our strong community relationships have allowed us to invest in Treadwell School by attracting school sponsors, installing an outdoor basketball court and developing the green space on the Treadwell campus. The Heights CDC has also rehabbed 10 homes in our community and guides families toward homeownership. Our most recent accomplishment is the design of a new linear park space for National Street called the Heights Line. The Heights Line will be an expanded median that will provide a public gathering space for our neighbors and connect our community to the Wolf River Greenway, the Shelby Farms Greenline, the Broad Avenue Arts District and Overton Park.
Does the Heights CDC have any upcoming activities or events?
This fall, the Heights CDC will host several community events, including a Halloween party, movie night and fall garden planting. The Heights Line construction documents will be completed by the end of the year, and we will be working to raise support as we break ground on the Heights Line in the spring of 2021.
Get in touch with the Heights CDC
920 N. Highland St. Memphis, TN 38122