We operate the Mid-South Bike Fest 2015 as our main source of funding to support our work with endangered youth. By supporting the Bike Fest you will be joining us in solidarity, accepting that we are all God’s children responsible to each other and that what happens in Memphis is as important to you as what happens in your community, in Fergusson Missouri or New York City. We are in this together and you have our continued pledge to work our butts off to give these kids a fighting chance (pun intended) to lift themselves up from their disadvantaged starting point. Please join us.
Safe House Project
My name is Tom "Hoss" Lewis, the big white guy on the right. That is Clark "Preacha" Chambers, the big black guy on the left. We are the top two leaders of Bikers & Social Clubs 4 Change in Memphis, TN. BSC4C is a 501C3 charity organization affiliated with 130+ motorcycle, social clubs of Memphis. This photo is titled: "Why can't we be friends?" taken from a song by the classic rock group WAR, who will be playing at our Bike Fest in July 2015. Breaking through old, disgusting racial barriers is also part of what we do. But mostly we are about the kids that are growing up in one of our nation’s worse crime districts - Memphis Tennessee. Many of our affiliate Bikers have come from these neighborhoods.
Phase-1 Action For several years we have been working in the most dangerous and poorest neighborhoods of Memphis, with mentoring and scholarship programs for our endangered youth. Remarkably, teaching a young person to change a tire, tie a tie, balance a check book, use a computer or check out a book at the library, are often first time experiences. Orchestrating a friendly encounter with a policeman can change a perception from a life threatening situation to a life giving experience. It is simply amazing how deprived these kids are of basic safety and self-respect experiences.
Phase-2 Action is to build "Safe Houses" in these challenging neighborhoods, to provide these young people a 24/7 life resource center in their own backyard. To do this begins with getting abandoned properties donated to our cause. Our County Mayor, Mark Luttrell has been very helpful and our first property in South Memphis has just been approved. A local architect firm that specializes in jails was all too happy to design a building to help keep people out of jail. This simple starter Safe House will be approximately 3,000 square feet and equipped with computers, a sound/voice recording room, plus counseling and supervision space. One of our next steps is to sit down and dialog with local organizations to ensure that these are truly “Safe Houses”. That will be a new experience for me but I am excited about the challenge. Thank goodness for Preacha who has seen this opportunity from a variety of vantage points.
The Impact of A Safe House The greatest short-term impact of a Safe House will be on our endangered youth. They will have choices:
And perhaps the greatest long-term impact will be on our community, as poverty and crime decreases while opportunity and personal success increases.
Risks & Challenges Our greatest risks and challenges are our fears of unknown origin and our temptations of apathy. The fears of unknown origin come when we attend the funeral of a lost child who was randomly shot in a drive by act of terror. They come when a mother is desperate for her child to come home from the streets. They are present when a policeman stops a car in the ghetto. They are present when two or more are gathered together on a street corner to target their victims. They are present in our reference points of common sense and compassion when dealing with the chaos of a dysfunctional neighborhood moment.
The temptations of apathy are strong and ever present. It’s not my city, not my neighborhood, not my family, not my child. It’s not my calling, not my faith practice and not my dream. And most of all, it’s not my fault. Of course, none of these solves the problem. In fact, it makes the problems worse.
Other Ways You Can Help Please pray for us and more importantly, pray for the marginalized people in our society. Pray for those who have no one to pray for them. Reflect on the consideration that what we take with us into the next life is everything we gave away in this life. God bless you.
More Information: Clark Chambers: 901.502.2423