High Ground News Article: Hagar Center
Frayser was put on the national stage several years ago when it was reported that around 90 girls in the same high school were pregnant. News headlines across the country focused on the dramatic teen pregnancy epidemic in Memphis, Tennessee.
Five years down the road, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in research and advertising later, teen pregnancy continues to be a very real issue in the Frayser community.
Erma Simpson has been working in the area for years and saw that the problem was not going to be solved that easily. Read full story
High Ground News Article: Give 365
“GiVE 365 is an initiative of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis and currently has a membership of nearly 285 households,” explained Ashley Harper, the Community Foundation’s Director of Grants and Initiatives and manager of its GiVE 365 program. “It was developed to engage new donors in local philanthropy and provide a way for individuals and families to make larger charitable donations together than they may be able to make alone. The structure of GiVE 365 is a dollar-a-day giving circle that lets members pool their money and make a positive impact on our community through grants to nonprofit organizations. Half of the money is granted within a year and half is placed into an endowment to support the future of the program.”
Each year GiVE 365 members select a theme for grant applicants to address. For 2016, the theme was “Memphis 2020: programs that will have a tangible impact on Memphis in the next five years.” The following nonprofit organizations were awarded grants totaling $52,285. Read Full Story
Tri- State Article
When Erma Simpson wanted to launch a center to support and teach teen mothers, she immediately thought of Hagar, the Biblical figure in The Book of Genesis. After giving birth to Abraham’s out-of-wedlock son Ishmael, Hagar fears she and her child won’t last long in the wilderness — until God reassures her that she and her child haven’t been forsaken.
“I get these girls who come into my office almost every other day with babies that they don’t know what to do with, don’t know how to bond with them and don’t know how they’re going to take care of,” said Simpson, a marriage and family therapist who recently established the Hagar Center, a nonprofit to help homeless young mothers.
“I remembered that God hears the cries of children.”
After 13 years of working with teen mothers, Simpson has seen how drastically motherhood can affect young women’s lives. She’s worked with them as program director of First S.T.E.P.S. (Skills to Ensure Parenting Success)—a teen parenting and skills program at the Exchange Club Family Center on Union Ave.
“You really have to address poverty among our young people,” Simpson told the audience. “If you’re going to attack poverty, you can’t ignore pregnant teens.” Read Full Story
Make a Difference Monday. Live @ 9 with Marybeth Conley
Statistics show children of teenage moms are more likely to drop out of school, enter foster care, live in poverty and become a teen parent themselves.
But The Hagar Center is working right here in Memphis to change that. If you think this is not your problem, think again. This affects our entire community. Watch Video