Member Monday Spotlight: The Heights Community Development Corporation

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.     


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Consider giving to Livable Memphis TODAY!

Dear Livable Memphis friend and advocate,

Because of neighborhood leaders like you, Livable Memphis’ 10th year was a huge success! We’ve seen wins on issues like fighting blight, improving sidewalks, and designing complete streets. The Hampline is nearing final construction, the city has established a new nonprofit Blight Authority of Memphis (something our Policy Committee has pushed for years), and we’ve been a part of a growing parks advocacy organization, bringing nationally renowned Partnership for Parks to deliver a keynote and workshops at our 2015 Annual Summit for Neighborhood Leaders!

THANK YOU for being a part of the movement to make Memphis truly livable. We are able to do what we do because of your generous support. As 2015 draws to a close, we invite you to please consider a tax-deductible year-end donation to Livable Memphis. Our success depends on you.

Some 2015 highlights:

  • ioby – In our two-year partnership, nearly $400,000 of “citizen philanthropy” and matching dollars have gone to over 120 neighborhood projects, from urban farms teaching youth the business of food production, to basketball court, murals, and more.
  • The Mobile Porch – The Porch made an appearance at 46 community events, gathering 2,500 surveys, and was used in outreach for planning efforts like the National Disaster Resilience Competition, in which Shelby County applied for nearly $70 million to implement the Mid-South Greenprint.
  • MEMFix: The Pinch was a huge success, and sparked several meetings among stakeholders and the city about planning for the future of the historic Pinch District.
  • Planning & Policy – We’ve seen several long-in-the-making blight programs come to fruition this year, and have been active in conversations on the importance of comprehensive planning for our neighborhoods and the city’s future, including representation on Mayor-Elect Strickland’s Transition Team.
  • Complete Streets – We completed the Complete Streets Project Delivery Manual for the city and are moving the policy toward implementation across city divisions to ensure that everyone using our streets and public space – regardless of ability or mode – can better access our city.
  • Healthcare – Our Healthcare Navigator assisted over 250 families in enrollment and accessing better healthcare through the Affordable Care Act, and reached thousands more with awareness and education about their options for getting covered.

2016 is already looking busy! We will be deploying several community engagement projects on projects like resilience planning, new online tools for learning about and investing in our community, and moving toward policies and funding for a more effective transportation system for all. We’ll be exploring how our relationship with ioby goes forward and how we can help other cities learn from the Memphis partnership. We’re also taking a look at how to integrate our programs even more into the great work being done at the neighborhood level to make our city a more compelling, resilient, and just place!

We wish you a warm and happy end to 2015 and hope for your continued involvement in making a more Livable Memphis!



Emily, Ellen, Essence, John Paul, Jim, Leah, Lisa, and Sarah
Community Development Council / Livable Memphis

To give your tax-deductible donation, please click HERE.

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New City Builders

It’s a dilemma that has burned consistently for the past 15 years: who will be the leaders of community development in the next decade? How can the Community Development Council nurture talent for the challenges and opportunities ahead?

In 2015, I began helping CD Council answer that by launching a training program for new leaders. The eight candidates in the first cohort of the program (listed below) began in April with a three part curriculum introducing them to the rigor and complexity of running a community development corporation. Candidates have to be nominated by an executive director or other officer in an existing CDC.

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ioby Success

Discover ioby Campaign Success 2015 has been a momentous year for ioby (in our back yard) here in Memphis. Earlier this year, Livable Memphis and ioby announced $50,000 in match funds to launch citizen-led, neighbor-funded campaigns through ioby. The Kresge Foundation graciously provided the initial $50,000. With the help from the Hyde Family Foundation and Livable Memphis, additional funding was provided to increase the match dollars so we could support more awesome projects. The ioby ideas ranged from neighborhood block parties to beekeeping: 11 involved art, 7 focused on education, 14 involved gardens, 13 promoted active living, among many others. On April 11th ioby project leaders attended MEMFix: Pinch to rally support from friends and neighbors and to kick off the public match period.

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