Prayer service planned for Memphis' only housing project

Prayer service planned for Memphis' only housing project

(WMC-TV) – A prayer service is planned for those who are fighting to save the Foote Homes community in Memphis.

Supporters of the housing project say something has to be done for the people who live there.

Meanwhile, the future of the community remains in limbo.

Last year, Memphis received a $250,000 federal grant to revitalize the Vance Avenue Community and it became clear that the demolition of Foote Homes could be part of that plan.

That is when a University of Memphis-based community group sprung into action. The Vance Avenue Collaborative is supporting the residents who could be displaced if their public housing community is torn down.

Organizers studied the impact of demolition and say that two-thirds of the residents do not want to move. They need to be downtown in order to have access to a variety of services.

But more recently, the city's director of Housing and Urban Development said he plans to pursue a grant to demolish the 70-year-old community.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said the city needs to eliminate the perception of public housing and move toward mixed housing developments.

But residents argue the city's agenda makes them feel like they are the ones being eliminated even though city officials said they would receive vouchers to live somewhere else.

Right now, demolition is not definite.

Organizers hope the city will decide to "Improve, don't remove." That is the message they will take to the Memphis City Council meeting on October 16 when the project comes up for discussion.

The prayer service will begin at 6 p.m. on St. Patrick's Church on South 4th Street.

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