Concourse Restaurants donate meals to blight clean-up crew.

It’s no secret that just beyond the scenic Concourse campus are pockets of our community where litter and blight have taken over. That’s why Crosstown Concourse has teamed up with the Memphis Medical District Collaborative to financially sponsor one day each week of WORK LOCAL — an innovative program of Hospitality Hub that provides a day’s work to panhandlers.

These workers spend the morning reducing urban blight, and are then provided with lunch, a day’s wages, and additional services and counseling as needed.

Workers are transported to clean up sites in the Crosstown and Medical District neighborhoods. These workers spend the morning reducing urban blight, and are then provided with lunch, a day’s wages, and additional services and counseling as needed.

WORK LOCAL seeks to provide individuals with a safer way to earn money and also to connect workers with services and resources that might move them toward a better future. In its first year, the program provided over 1,000 daily jobs and completed 104 blight abatement projects. Eighty of the program’s workers have moved into permanent jobs so far.

Putting in the Work

Concourse restaurants Farm Burger, Next Door American Eatery, and The Curb Market, along with Medical District restaurants like Subway and The Trolley Stop Market have made this effort possible by generously donating lunch for the workers each week.

In its first year, the program provided over 1,000 daily jobs and completed 104 blight abatement projects.

“At Next Door American Eatery, one of our core values is, if it’s good for the community, it’s good for us,” said Next Door’s general manager Brian Bazar. “We saw this program as an opportunity for our team to live that value.”

Volunteers are needed to transport the lunches to Hospitality Hub each Monday, as the delivery time falls during the donor restaurants’ lunch rush. Contact Ginger Spickler at ginger@crosstownarts.org for more details or to volunteer.