View Oasis of Hope in a larger map

There are many nicknames for this area of North Memphis… 7th Street, Caldwell, Bearwater, Bickford… but simply 'the hood' covers them all.

Ironically, in the late 1970s, this area of town was thriving! Upon the closing of Firestone and other local businesses, pride and the value of life began to decline. Located North of the Pyramid, the geographical boundaries of this community are: Pear Avenue to the North, Manasses Street to the East, Chelsea Avenue to the South, and 2nd Street to the West.

This is one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country. The statistics are grueling but they painfully reveal the reality of poverty in our own backyard. In addition, crime stats are appalling. In 2007 Memphis ranked #1 in the country on the FBI's most violent city list. Most other crimes, such as murder rates, robberies, and aggravated assaults are 3x's the national average.

Following are additional statistics that further reinforce the dire and desperate need in our neighborhood ravaged by the effects of poverty.

  • Median household income is $7,885
  • Of the families with children under 5 years old, 83.4% live below poverty level
  • 87.3% of homes are valued at less than $50,000, only 23.2% of people actually own their home
  • More than 75% of residents rent, and half of those renters pay less than $300 per month
  • More than 50% of adults do not have a vehicle
  • Only 43.5% of adults are high school graduates (or GED)
  • Only 1.3% have a bachelors' degreeUnemployment Rate is roughly 26%
  • Roughly 50% of the community is under the age of 25
  • Only 12.5% of the households consist of a married couple
  • 21.5% of homes list the grandparent as being responsible for the children

The need is GREAT. God's command is clear:

If any of your people become poor and unable to support themselves, you must help them.

- Leviticus 25:35