Orange Mound

New community organization focuses on self-sufficiency in Orange Mound

JUICE, a non-profit dedicated to community revitalization and self-sufficiency in Orange Mound was awarded $5,000 in grants in August from Community LIFT and the Memphis Area Neighborhood Watch. Each grant is $2,500 each.

This is the first time the 10-month old organization which has a focus of community self-revitalization and self-sufficiency in Orange Mound, has received grant funding to advance ideas and programs.

Founding in December 2016, the mission of JUICE is, “to empower, and support each resident in Historic Orange Mound by finding and funding innovative ideas within the community.” The vision is, “to reclaim the self-sufficiency and prestige of Historic Orange Mound.” The group meets monthly in the Melrose High School gym.

The first grant is a Community LIFT capacity grant called the Empowerment Fund, which provides financial assistance to grassroots organizations and community leaders working to improve the quality of life in under-resourced neighborhoods.

Britney Thornton, Executive Director of JUICE Orange Mound, said the organization was one of 30 that received the grant from a pool of 78 applicants. JUICE plans to use the $2,500 to fund the Round the Mound 5K Walk/Run. The inaugural fundraiser costs $20 to participate and begins at 8:00 a.m. on October 28 at Melrose High School, 2870 Deadrick Avenue. JUICE has a goal of 1,000 participants. People can register here.

The second $2,500 grant is a Neighborhood Watch Grant funded by the Memphis Area Neighborhood Watch, a division of the City Office of Parks and Neighborhoods.

The grant funds will go towards the purchase of 11-13 cameras that will be placed on various streets in Orange Mound to help with crime monitoring and prevention. JUICE is collaborating with residents to decide where the cameras will be placed.

“We have crime that is tainting the image of our community and we are going to do something about it,” Thornton said.  “We want to get one resident per street to come out in Orange Mound and help us strategize where we can problem solve for the needs facing our community. Every street isn’t facing severe crime, but there are some streets where things like prostitution, drug activity, speeding, and littering among various issues that are real barriers to people enjoying their community.”

As an approved neighborhood watch, JUICE members are working to split the neighborhood into zones and forming an assembly of residents willing to participate.

 “Through the residents we feel that we can problem solve together,” she said. “JUICE wants to do the heavy lifting of bringing in the expertise of how to write a successful grant and access more resources based on the people we are able to connect with and bring to the table.”  

Read more articles by Erica Horton.

Born and raised in Memphis, Erica Horton is a freelance journalist that loves to learn and write about almost anything. Email her story ideas here