MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Creating a network of support services to help more than 2,000 young people at risk of gun violence is the mission of “Memphis Allies” — a group started by Youth Villages.
On Saturday, Allies hosted an event specifically aimed at finding “Youth Clinical Specialists” and “Life Coaches” for a program they call “SWITCH” (Support With Intention to Create Hope).
The organizers hope to be able to provide support to young people, as they believe that “the solution to community safety primarily lies with the community itself.” One of the larger goals of Memphis Allies is to build real relationships between leaders and organizations across Memphis.
“We understand the true importance of relationship building and it takes those who have lived the experiences of the community to really pray for change on our young people as well as our adults,” said Jevonte Porter, director of community relations for Memphis Allies.
Porter said that’s why the group was “intentional” about the hiring arrangement.
“We’re excited about the people who came out who are interested and want to be a part of the change that’s happening here in this city and really want to make a difference,” he said.
Memphis Allies creates teams that include life coaches, clinical specialists and case managers.
Their website states that as factors such as generational poverty and lack of opportunity have caused the African-American community to be overwhelmingly affected by violence in Memphis and Shelby County, the group “uplifts the lived experiences of those most affected by violence.”
“We believe that physical and mental health care, human service providers, schools and school leaders, the criminal justice system and police, and our city and county officials can provide critical leadership and support the dynamic network of community-based services that the Memphis Allies will create ,” the page reads.
Those who want to know more can click here.