Memphis, TN, June 7, 2019 – Frayser residents who travel along Felts Station Road will see a lot less blight, litter, and dumping this summer, thanks to a partnership between SafeWays and Lifeline to Success. The two local nonprofits will put Uplift Your Community grant funds provided by the Memphis NAACP, Kroger, and the New Tri-State Defender to work, with Lifeline’s Blight Patrol conducting regular clean-ups along the Felts Station corridor.
According to Managing Director Janine Heiner Buchanan, “SafeWays elected to focus on this area due to long-term, significant issues with blight, litter, and dumping. There are more than 350 apartment units along the Felts Station/Steele Street corridor, including two SafeWays-certified apartment communities. These residents cannot get to or from their homes without having to drive or walk past four-foot weeds, blighted buildings, heavy litter, and constant dumping. No one deserves to live in those conditions. We are delighted to have received funding to engage Lifeline to Success to do something about it. The positive impact that their Blight Patrol has on the community is just phenomenal. Ex-offenders are turning their lives around by working to turn their neighborhoods around. It’s a beautiful concept. Everyone benefits.”
SafeWays Data and Outreach Manager, Christi Barger, puts SafeWays’ rationale for this project in starker terms: “Blight, litter, and dumping, communicates to criminals that no one cares what happens in the area. It also communicates to residents that no one cares about them. Residents ultimately suffer not only from the toxic stress blight causes, but the negative consequences of crime – and fear of crime – which is fostered and facilitated by that blight. Growing up surrounded by blight and crime is an adverse childhood experience which can have lifelong negative consequences.”
Lifeline to Success’ Executive Director DeAndre Brown has spent many years connecting ex-offenders to work improving the community. “Partnerships like this one are encouraging to me,” say Pastor Brown of the project. “It allows stakeholders the opportunity to maintain their own communities. My motto is: ‘Our Community; Our RESPONSIBILITY.’”
Clean-ups will commence on the Felts Station corridor on Saturday, June 8th and continue through the end of September. SafeWays is seeking additional funding to continue the partnership with Lifeline to Success for a longer term, as well to beautify the area with flowers and flowering trees.