To help mitigate the challenges being faced by our under-resourced neighbors, Slingshot Memphis continues gathering and synthesizing critical and actionable intelligence. As you will see illustrated below, we are listening to our nonprofit partners, learning about their needs and the needs of their participants, and uncovering other conditions facing Memphis' poverty-fighting ecosystem as a result of COVID-19. For a deeper dive, please explore the pages included within the COVID-19 Response section of the website. This information is being updated regularly. 

To meet the evolving needs of our under-resourced neighbors, our community must coordinate efforts and direct resources - financial and otherwise - toward solutions with the greatest impact. We aim to amplify this coordination. 

Emerging Themes for Memphis

Slingshot is looking at the challenges associated with COVID-19 across short-, medium-, and longer-term timeframes to help provide a more comprehensive perspective. Below are the themes we've identified since the beginning of May.

Short-Term (<1 Month)
  • Incidents of domestic violence are rising behind the increase in risk factors and reporting barriers caused by social distancing and self-isolation

  • Communities of color face compounding factors that exacerbate the severity of COVID-19

Medium-Term (1-3 Months)
  • Under-resourced students face a summer slide exacerbated by the unprecedented COVID slide that will widen the achievement gap for these children and youth

  • Mental health challenges are spiking and disproportionately impacting under-resourced populations

  • Those in contact with the criminal justice system face higher risks of COVID-19 and are at risk of losing many of the valuable supports that help their reintegration to society

  • A growing wave of housing instability is building up behind the moratoriums on evictions and utility shutoffs

  • Under-resourced communities are becoming more isolated as they face a digital divide that impedes their ability to stay connected

Longer-Term (>4 Months)
  • Vital nonprofits are forecasting, and already experiencing, reductions in city, county, state, and federal government funding due to budget cuts

Visit the EMERGING THEMES FOR MEMPHIS section for more details.

Slingshot Partner Needs

Our nonprofit partners are demonstrating resilience and creativity as they adapt their efforts to support our under-resourced neighbors. These efforts require new, unforeseen resources. Below are a few highlighted needs:

  • Shelby County Jail recently announced more than 70% of the 266 detainees and staff who were tested were positive for COVID-19. Just City is increasing its bail efforts while employing well-defined criteria that identifies defendants who remain detained solely due to their inability to post bail and are not a risk to others. Click here to invest in Just City.

  • Purdue Center has remained open and at full capacity during the pandemic. Additional funding is needed to launch the Purdue Academy, an expansion of its educational support for youth who reside at the Purdue Center. The academy will hire professional teachers and tutors to help mitigate the COVID-19 slide from school closures. Click here to invest in Purdue Center of Hope.

  • JIFF is transitioning to virtual programming support for youth who have had contact with the juvenile justice system. JIFF is purchasing tablets and providing connectivity for its participants who face a digital divide at their homes. Click here to invest in JIFF.

Visit the SLINGSHOT PARTNER NEEDS section to see a list of identified needs for each of our nonprofit partners.

Slingshot’s Recent Efforts

As our nonprofit partners share their needs and the needs of their beneficiaries, Slingshot provides funding and direct support to help with these needs. Below are some of our recent efforts:

  • Invested $17,750 across The Collective Blueprint, Alpha Omega Veterans Services, JIFF, and Moore Tech to expand their capabilities by enhancing their digital infrastructure, enabling them to better serve their beneficiaries during COVID-19 and beyond

  • Organized and made a $10,000 bulk purchase of PPE that distributed 12,000 vinyl gloves, 4,000 protective masks, and 70 gallons of hand sanitizer across Advance Memphis, Agape Child & Family Services, CEO, Hope House, Lifeline to Success, Memphis Athletic Ministries, Neighborhood Christian Centers, Nurse-Family Partnership, Porter-Leath, and Purdue Center of Hope

  • Provided thought partnership on a survey Memphis Athletic Ministries is administering at its food distribution events to better understand the challenges and needs of those seeking food assistance

  • Researched and shared resources with our nonprofit partners about remote working tools, data privacy best practices, and virtual fundraising opportunities

Visit the SLINGSHOT'S RECENT EFFORTS section for a full list of support Slingshot is providing its partners.