Bishop David A. Hall Sr. has embraced a theme that reflects a nonprofit group’s resolve to more directly affect the course of revitalization in the inner-city section of South Memphis that is re-emerging as South City.
“South City, can we have a Life Together?” That’s the theme associated with the Life Together 501 (c) 3, which Hall champions as pastor of historic Temple Church Of God In Christ (COGIC).
The City of Memphis is moving forward on its $250 million South City revitalization project, which includes a remake of the area that housed the Foote Homes and Cleaborn Homes housing developments.
Temple COGIC – known as the Mother Church – looks west toward Booker T. Washington High School and is next door to a boarded-up facility that has served the community in multiple incarnations, most recently as the Martin Luther King Center and Boys & Girls Club.
Hall has presented city officials with plans designed to breathe life into the vacant structures. The plans feature a cybercafé, medical clinic, senior citizens’ initiatives, a community theatre, youth initiatives and an entrepreneurial school.
“Life Together envisions a facility that will embrace and enhance the changing environment of the area and the diverse cultural needs of South City,” Hall said. “Life Together will be a thriving community renaissance project.”
Paul Young, director of the City of Memphis’ Division of Housing and Community Development, said, “Bishop Hall is a visionary leader that has proposed a use for the structure that would serve the needs of the community. His proposal will be weighted with other proposals that have been submitted for the building.”
Asked about the process of including community input in the revitalization project, Young said, “The South City Project has been underway for a number of years and the process included a number of community meetings and stakeholder groups that have provided input. On Tuesday, June 26 at 4:30 p.m., South City residents are invited to participate in a community meeting at Streets Ministries.
“During that meeting, the community will give input on what uses they would like to see in the former MLK Transitional School, former Boys & Girls Club (property that Bishop Hall is interested in) and Georgia Elementary,” Young said.
Hall said the city recognizes that “we are stakeholders in this revitalization project. …We have been in the community implementing programs and services to improve the lives and welfare of folks who once lived in the Foote Homes and Cleaborn Homes.”
The community forum will be held at 430 Vance Ave. Hall took to social media asking for the community’s support and presence at the forum.
“We must have a voice in how the $250 million dollars of taxpayers’ dollars are spent in our community,” he said.