Missed Our Build with Habitat? You Have One More Chance!

September 14, 2016

web800Oasis of Hope home building volunteer opportunity: The work is not complete!

The work is not complete!  Even though our friends from all over Memphis and the world spent a week making tremendous progress building 19 homes in the Bearwater neighborhood in August, there is still much work to be done! There is one additional Habitat build opportunity coming up where Hope and Oasis of Hope volunteers can join us in building the remaining four Oasis homes in the Bearwater neighborhood. Thank you for continuing to provide Hope to our Oasis neighborhood and we look forward to hammering with you on the following day:

Click here to register to build from 7am to 1pm on Saturday, October 8th

Building affordable homes is an important step to helping families live stable, healthy, and safe lives, although Oasis of Hope has numerous other ministries and programs as well! If you would like more information on how to get involved with our housing program or one of our many youth programs, community events, businesses, or senior citizen program, check out our website or contact Terry. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, or following us on Twitter and Instagram for daily updates. We’d love to plug you in to this growing and exciting neighborhood!

Bringing Hope to Readers at Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary

September 12, 2016

read2succeed-215x215“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” -Lila Watson

And with that vision, a new and deeper partnership to invest in North Memphis students has begun between Hope Church and Caldwell-Guthrie, Memphis Scholars Elementary under the leadership of School Director, Janai Douglas!

Students in North Memphis need this investment. Why?

– Because only 33% of students are proficient/advanced in reading
– Low reading levels and high drop out rates are directly correlated
– 4% of students are reading at the college readiness rate
– There is no federal funding for remedial courses

What is our goal?

With an intensive commitment to work on student’s reading skills, it is Director Douglas’ goal that due to this investment 70% of students would increase their reading level for 1.5 years each academic year with a program like this!

bringing-hope-9-14-2016-webHow can you help?

Through volunteer-led reading groups, teacher-led whole group instruction, and small group instruction, together we can help kids reach this lofty goal of improving reading levels by 1.5 years per each academic year!

What does volunteering look like?

Volunteers only need to commit to being in the classroom one hour per week, and to read with the same group of 5-6 students all year for 20 minutes of that time (the rest of the time will include collecting and reviewing tutoring materials prior to assisting). Books and discussion questions will be provided and will be assigned by the teachers. The objective each week will simply be to improve or heighten reading comprehension. We will initially begin working with younger classrooms, but will grow to assist with K-5.

Make a difference and sign up!

It’s easy to get started! All you need to do is email us and let us know you’d like to join the team! We will send you a needed background clearance link, and following this step, we will work with you to find a time-slot that fits your schedule. Slots begin at 9am and continue until the school day is over, Monday-Friday.

Reading begins September 12th!

If you would like more information regarding this specific ministry, contact Marcia. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

A Fall Fest Twist: 2016 Block Party & Trunk or Treat Oct. 29

September 10, 2016

read-to-succeed-spring-breaWe thought this was the perfect year to change things up a bit and to do something a little different … instead of our typical Oasis Fall Festival, we’ve partnered with North Memphis community residents and many of our familiar friends like the Bickford Community Center, Uptown, and Hope Church, in addition to new friends like Hope City Church, the new families moving in to Bearwater Park, and Memphis Habitat!

Although many things will look the same, we are working on several new ideas like perhaps a new location and offering a Trunk-or-Treat for the kids since we are so close to Halloween!

Please stay tuned for more details as we meet with our partners to finalize information, but in the meantime, SAVE-THE-DATE: October 29th! Exact location and time TBD, but of course we’ll be in North Memphis. North Memphis residents: Please plan to invite your neighbors!!!

As always, we will need many volunteers and many donations of candy and prizes! Plan to join us and get in on the fun and help us welcome our friends – new and old!

For more information or to volunteer or donate, contact Terry. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Attend Hope City Church…A New Way To Do Church!

September 08, 2016

logo-web215x215Last week we watched a years-long dream come to fruition as Pastor Colley Cooper took the stage and welcomed North Memphis to Hope City’s first official church service!

Hope City is here to offer the unchurched, the dechurched and the rechurched a New Way To Do Church!

Everyone is welcome at Hope City and there are no dress codes, no inner circles, and no churchy languages. This is just a church with a passion to be relevant and real for our neighborhood.

Hope City’s Vision:

We are a place where the unchurched can find meaning and purpose through Christ-centered living and love-centered outreach!

Hope City’s Mission:

- Evangelize the lost
- Equip the believer
- Empower the community

Join Pastor Colley and team on Sundays at noon in the Caldwell-Guthrie Elementary School (951 Chelsea Ave) for an uplifting message and spiritual connection. Children’s ministry provided.

Be sure to following Hope City on Facebook and Twitter!

For more information about this exciting and growing ministry, or to learn more about how you can get involved, email Pastor Colley  or call him at 901-881-5877.

Fire at Oasis Appliance and Bike Shop on August 28!

September 06, 2016

oa-fire-8-28-2016-web-collaIt’s sure a great thing that God has promised us that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28)! We are absolutely counting on such promises and are waiting to see God’s handiwork, because on August 28, 2016, Oasis Appliance and Home Furnishings and the Oasis Bike Shop experienced a store fire immediately following our big week partnering with Habitat for Humanity!

We are sincerely grateful to the Memphis Fire Department who arrived within about two minutes of our 911 call, & contained the fire quickly! Due to this however, they needed to bore holes through the brick exterior to get in, and there is relatively minor fire and water damage, but there is extensive smoke damage. This means that a layer of smokey soot has covered everything in the store and even things you wouldn’t imagine … every wall, every nook, and every cranny!

We also want to send a special thank you to all of our friends in North Memphis who saw the fire and were concerned and came to assist, support and provide help in any way!

We are now in the process of having our staff and volunteers work painstakingly through the damages, and having the entire building professional cleaned. All of our showroom products (appliances, furniture, bikes) have been contaminated and will need to now either be disposed of or professionally cleaned.

The good news is that we have an off-site warehouse where we store donations and overstock, and our vehicles were not damaged! Therefore, we are still picking up donations daily; so please keep them coming!! If you have a gently used appliance or home decor item to donate, we are ready and willing to pick them up! Please call us at 901.577.0013 to make arrangements, or continue to fill out our online pick-up form. Thank you for continued faithfulness in supporting us during this especially trying time!!

In the meantime, please join us in praying for the following needs:

-pray for Dana Driver, Strategic Store Manager, as he leads the ministry through this challenging time
-protection over our volunteers and employees as they clean the store amidst the smokey atmosphere
-that we would be able to open the store in a temporary format … whatever that looks like
-favorable results of the insurance settlement
-that we wouldn’t lose our customer base during our temporary closure
-that God would use something outwardly appearing negative for our good … even a devastating fire (Romans 8:28)
-that in the meantime, donations would continue to pour in daily
-that the fire won’t delay our plans for the Oasis Toy Store in December (we began buying toys in July)

We deeply cherish your prayers and support during this very difficult time as we continue to pay out salaries to local employees while only being able to bring in minimal income. We absolutely are confident that God has a bigger plan for this so will continue to be faithful in the day to day tasks before us.

Sincerely,
Oasis Appliance & Home Furnishings Management

Bearwater Park, Oasis of Hope, and Memphis Habitat

September 04, 2016

bwp-collage-2016-8How Oasis of Hope & Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis Came Together on Bearwater Park: A Story of Faith & Why This Nine-Year Project Was Worth the Struggle

By Terry Hoff, Director of Oasis

2001-2006: We as a ministry, reached out and began developing relationships with youth and families living in the old Cedar Court Apartments (now Bearwater Park), which was the largest apartment complex in the neighborhood (18 buildings and 122 units). During those five years, we learned intimately that many of the problems on Seventh Street and our entire community (such as violence, drug use, and rampant gangs) were originating from Cedar Court. In 2006 one of our youth, Lil Van, was shot and killed right outside the complex.

2007: Our youth baseball coach, Mike Timmons (who also worked in real estate investment), saw Cedar Court come up for sale on public auction. He bid on it and won! We then took the biggest leap of faith to-date as a ministry and decided to buy the complex despite being very concerned over the debt we would incur to acquire the property, not knowing our ability to obtain the grant funding necessary to redevelop it. We bought it anyway and Cedar Court was now ours!

2008-2010: We worked tirelessly to rehab the complex – we had countless volunteers (many of you were there!) and more than 30 large construction dumpsters that were filled with sheetrock and debris from the buildings as we hammered, and stripped, and hauled away rubble in hopes of doing the demo grunt-work ourselves. All the while we applied for grant after grant, with no success.

2011: God provided a generous grant through the City of Memphis to get started on the redevelopment! However, it came with a MAJOR string attached: it required new construction, not rehab. I then had the humbling duty of letting all our staff, volunteers, and community know that all their hard work on the complex was now going to be demolished and removed from the site; HARD! God knew better than I did though and new construction would be significantly better for the community in the long-run. In addition to the grant, the City of Memphis came alongside us in partnership by donating the demolition of the old complex. It was exciting!

2012-2013: This first tedious step in being awarded grant money is only a part of the challenge in redeveloping an entire subdivision. Countless meetings with engineers, architects, the developing partner (Promise CDC), city departments, and community gatherings – not to mention the myriad of delays with the demolition and other complicated hoops to navigate – the Phase 1 project seemed like it would never be complete. But thanks to the generosity of many donors, as well as, Hope Church, the 10 housing units of Phase 1 were completed in July of 2013, debt free! Families began moving in!

2014-2015: It was back to applying for more grant applications for Phase 2, but unfortunately the federal government suffered a significant recession and the money for affordable housing wasn’t nearly as available as in the past. We were successful in being awarded a small grant through THDA (Tennessee Housing Development Agency) allowing us to build 4 more homes on the site, as well as, some infrastructure funding through the city.  As grateful as we were for this, it was realistically a drop in the bucket to be able to redevelop the remaining vacant land at the site (80% of the subdivision). As I was becoming resigned to the fact that I would be 91-years-old and still trying to build homes in the subdivision, along comes another blessing to save the day!  Mutual friends at MLB-Uptown LLC connected Oasis with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis to see if there might be a win-win relationship possible.

2016: They were definitely right – Oasis and parent ministry, Hope Church, could not be more delighted to partner with Memphis Habitat and be a part of the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project to bring 19 new homes to the community, which will bring us much closer to completing our Bearwater project! To say it is an honor to work alongside these people and this organization is an understatement! God is so good to bring all things together that we had NO power to accomplish on our own. To Him be the glory for all that has taken place and all that will happen in this new place for many families to call home. We look forward to building relationships with the new home-owners who will move in soon and are grateful for all the progress, growth and interest happening in North Memphis!

More opportunities to help build!

Even though we will wrap up building these 19 homes with Habitat this week, Oasis will be building 4 more homes beginning in September and we’d love to have your help! If you missed volunteering this week, you still have an opportunity to grab a hammer and say that you were a part of this transformational project!

Building affordable homes is an important step to helping families live stable, healthy, and safe lives, although Oasis of Hope has numerous other ministries and programs as well! If you would like more information on how to get involved with our housing program or one of our many youth programs, community events, businesses, or senior citizen program, check out our website or contact Terry. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, or following us on Twitter and Instagram for daily updates. We’d love to plug you in to this growing and exciting neighborhood!

Why Has Our Senior Program Doubled? Volunteers Needed!

September 02, 2016

web2-IMG_3460Any line dancers out there? How about computer nerds? Or maybe you’re a quilter or an arts and crafts fan?

Have you ever considered that using your personal interests and talents could immensely bless others? Our senior ministry has doubled to 123 members in the past few years and we are in need of at least five more weekly volunteers to come and hang out with us! We are bursting at the seams but are thrilled that the word has spread that Bickford Senior Center is the ‘happening place to be’ for those 60 and over in North Memphis!

Our Seniors Program Director of nearly 3 years, Shirley Glenn, in partnership with Activities Coordinator, Leon Murrell, have poured themselves into advocating for our seniors and have been growing and expanding the programming we offer to provide activities that are truly needed and wanted. Practical, helpful, useful and fun events rotate weekly and this program has evolved from a place to perhaps cool off or warm up, to a place that offers educational, healthful, spiritual, practical, financial and fun activities for members, volunteers and staff to enjoy Mondays-Fridays from 8am-1pm.

The atmosphere around the center is very casual but bustling. Friendships are formed here, and relationships are developed that go beyond a neighborly hello. Seniors look forward to spending time with their friends doing the typically expected activities such as playing bingo or wii, sewing or making ceramics, exercising by line dancing or practicing water aerobics, and attending the highly-anticipated field trips that are both educational and social.

2014-susan-harber-110x116However, so much more is offered in addition to the assumed senior activities. Through seeking out numerous local partnerships, seniors can expect delicious free meals, optometry assistance, regular health check-ups, massages, needed home repair, and financial help. And programming is continually expanding and evolving to address new needs as they arise. For example, cell provider, Cricket, will be coming next week to work with anyone needing a lesson on how to use their cell phones. UT nursing interns are scheduled to check blood pressures and discuss blood sugar. The Red Cross will be coming to address disaster awareness. MPD is always nearby and can often be talked into playing a round of Spades. We’d like to give a special thanks to the City of Memphis, Division of Parks & Neighborhoods for their generosity in providing this facility free of charge!

This is a FUN place to be and the activity calendar is packed providing both the social and the practical! Come teach a line dance, or show someone how to send an email, or just simply provide a listening ear and adopt a grandparent! If you have a heart for seniors and a hobby or skill you are willing to share, we invite you to hang out in the most happening spot in North Memphis!

To volunteer or to become a member (free; must be 60 years or older), contact Shirley. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Teens From SLA Program Get Offered Part-Time Jobs!

September 01, 2016

SLA-web500I am very proud to say that this year’s Summer Leadership program was a huge success! Summer Leadership Academy (or SLA) is an 8 week leadership development program aimed at high school youth. SLA is designed to help teens grow in their leadership capacity, biblical worldview, workplace competency, and in their social capital. This is achieved through training sessions, exposure outings, and work internships. A recent study out of Chicago showed that that an 8 week paid summer jobs programs for at-risk youth reduced violent crime arrests by 43% over a 16-month period. So we decided to create a space where teens could learn and develop skills called Summer Leadership Academy. This is extremely important because without this type of investment kids who grow up in generational poverty will have a hard time successfully transitioning into the “real world.”

It’s been strange, however, to talk to my teens about the challenges of the “real world.” I know many of the youth I mentor have experienced more trauma in their short lives than most people twice their age. They understand what it means to be poor and to struggle. They know what it means to experience significant loss. They are not afraid of the uncertainties of life, but in fact, they are quite adapted to disappointment. They do however, have many fears. Ironically, my student leaders are often afraid of success. After navigating through life with very little affirmation concerning their ability to impact the world around them, they struggle to believe that their choices can actually lead to significant success in life. They have learned simply to be resilient and to survive.

It’s easy for me to relate to my student leaders. Growing up I didn’t know many successful people. That is why success seemed so unrealistic for me as a teen. It was not until God placed mentors in my life that I made a change. It was the first time I understood that I had talents and gifts that people needed. My mentors helped me to see how I could make an impact on the world around me. They took the time to affirm my gifts and talents. They also leveraged their influence to help me gain opportunities and gave guidance concerning what it took to become successful. In short, my mentors gave me hope regarding what I could achieve in life. I developed a new perspective that allowed me to dream beyond what my underprivileged community had to offer.

SLA has been a way for me to give back to youth in at-risk community much like the one I grew up in. We have sought out partnerships with local businesses like Chick-Fil-A and Oasis Appliance & Home Furnishings to host our teens as summer interns as we provide training and accountability for their work ethic and character. We have raised money from people who believe in what we do to provide work stipends for the teens, so that our student leaders can learn the value earning an honest dollar. We also took the teens on college tours and other exposure trips to help our young leaders discover what they want out of life.

One of the student leaders told me that after our long summer experience that I had become like a father to her and the SLA teens. She said she understood what I was trying to do for them and that she appreciated it.

I could only think how my mentors supported me as a teen and had become father figures in my life. Nothing is more fulfilling than being able to pay forward the gift God gave me in my time of need. I am more convinced than ever that programs don’t change people, but it’s people who change people. Our decisions to invest in the lives of others will bring healing to our communities and also to the world around us. We’d love to have you join us; we need more mentors.

– Martell Hixson, High School Youth Developer

To volunteer or for more information about this ministry, contact Martell. Stay up-to-date by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram, and checking our website for detailed information.

Hope’s North Memphis Church Plant – HOPE CITY!

August 30, 2016

church-plant4-web215x215For the last 15 years, Hope has had a dedicated commitment and constant presence in North Memphis and the surrounding communities with the creation of Oasis of Hope. In 2014, Hope’s investment in North Memphis became even deeper when they decided to plant a new type of church – contextualized and relevant to the community – to include those who have given up on traditional church but not given up on God. The time has officially come to welcome the community into this new church, Hope City. We ask that you continue to partner with us through prayer as we begin the exciting countdown to Hope City’s first worship experience this September.

Join us as we pray for…

• the strength and well-being for Pastor Colley Cooper, his wife Sheri and their sons.

• the immediate sale of the Cooper’s home in Cordova as they prepare to relocate to North Memphis.

• the core launch team’s development and preparation.

• the indigenous residents becoming charter members of the new church.

• the hiring part-time staff members (musical worship leader, children’s ministry director and audio/video technician).

• God’s divine protection against all evil.

• the continual generosity and blessings of monetary gifts and givers.

• successfully launching the church on Sunday, September 11.

Stay tuned for more information here.

Support Angel Street – Attend their Fundraising Dinner 8/29

August 20, 2016

MIMbutton-web500Celebrate what we love about our city while investing in the lives of girls from N Memphis. Enjoy an evening featuring a four-course meal while members from Angel Street sing.

DATE: Monday, August 29th
TIME: 6:00-8:30pm
PLACE: Napa Cafe, 5101 Sanderlin Avenue, Memphis
COST: $125 per ticket or $1000 for a table of eight (includes $25 gift card to Napa Cafe)

Reserve your tickets today!

Also – we are looking for individuals and companies who may be interested in being a sponsor for this event. Contact us to find out how! For details and more information click here, or email us at info@angelstreetmemphis.com

Thank you to our friends at Napa Cafe!

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