Homelessness in Memphis, Shelby Co. shrinks by 21 percent - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Homelessness in Memphis, Shelby Co. shrinks by 21 percent

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At a news conference Thursday, the mayors announced that thanks to the alliance and other programs, homelessness in Memphis and Shelby County is down 21 percent. At a news conference Thursday, the mayors announced that thanks to the alliance and other programs, homelessness in Memphis and Shelby County is down 21 percent.

(WMC-TV) - Local leaders say recent head counts indicate the number of homeless people in the Mid-South is shrinking. It is a trend that they expect to continue.

Just a few months ago, Nyterica Bell and her kids were homeless. Bell says a police officer found her sleeping in a park. He referred her to a group of organizations that make up the Community Alliance to End Homelessness, which is spearheaded by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.

At a news conference Thursday, the mayors announced that thanks to the alliance and other programs, homelessness in Memphis and Shelby County is down 21 percent.

"It happened because everybody, the folks out there got together," said Mayor Wharton. "It happened because everybody said, 'I'm willing to give up something for the purpose of accomplishing this goal.'"

Alliance members say their strength is in the numbers and the dozens of agencies that work together with organizations like MIFA, which donated the apartment complex where Bell and many others live. Financial counseling, food, and other assistance are also provided.

"Folks, that's what the alliance for the homeless is all about," said Mayor Luttrell. "Lifting people up, giving them a hand up and not just a hand out."

Bell says the help will get her and many others back on their feet. She recently got her old job back and has an upcoming interview for another position.

If you would like know more about how you can help the homeless in Memphis and Shelby County, visit the following websites:

http://www.memphishomelessoptions.org

http://www.cafth.org

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