$750,000 investment from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation provides new South City community space
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — On Thursday, Feb. 9, representatives from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation joined staff from Memphis Housing Authority (MHA), along with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, to celebrate the opening of the BlueCross Healthy Place at Foote Park.
MHA applied for funding in 2020, and the BlueCross Foundation invested $750,000 in the project, including $650,000 to build out the space and $100,000 in a maintenance fund for its ongoing care. It is the second BlueCross Healthy Place project in the Memphis area, following the BlueCross Healthy Place at David Carnes Park, which opened in 2019.
“Foote Park at South City is undergoing a revitalization thanks to the Memphis Housing Authority and the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation,” said Mayor Strickland. “They have helped turn this underserved area into a place where residents can come together, and I look forward to seeing the new BlueCross Healthy Place become part of the fabric of this community.”
“We’re proud to boast strong alliances with our community partners, such as the BlueCross Foundation, who have strengthened our efforts to better serve our residents,” said Dexter Washington, CEO of MHA. “The resources that partners contribute, coupled with the affordable housing we provide, empower our people and communities.”
Features in the new space include:
- Large play area with accessible, poured-in-place surfacing
- Thrive fitness station
- Swing set
- Freestanding play and climbing areas
Chelsea Johnson, director of the BlueCross Foundation, added, “We were excited about the opportunity to work with the Memphis Housing Authority to bring much-needed amenities to this re-emerging area of the city. We hope the new space will become a point of connection for local residents of all ages.”
To date, the BlueCross Foundation has invested $34.8 million in completed and in-progress BlueCross Healthy Place projects across the state.
For more on the BlueCross Healthy Place program, see BlueCrossHealthyPlaces.com.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is a taxpaying, not-for-profit health plan serving more than 3.3 million members in Tennessee and around the country. The Chattanooga-based company was founded in 1945 and has brought peace of mind to its members and local communities for more than 75 years. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s news center at bcbstnews.com.
About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation, Inc.
The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation organized to promote the philanthropic mission of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. It has awarded $120 million in grants since 2005. The foundation provides funding for the BlueCross Healthy Place program, which creates active, healthy spaces across Tennessee.
About Memphis Housing Authority
Memphis Housing Authority develops, supports and maintains affordable housing options that provide stability and a sense of community for people with low to moderate incomes. It is the second oldest Housing Authority in the U.S. and was created in 1935 under Section 615 of the Private Act of the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee. In collaboration with a number of partner agencies, MHA provides eligible families and individuals opportunities to obtain decent, safe, sanitary and affordable rental housing. Through MHA’s assisted housing programs across Memphis and Shelby County, over 26,000 low-income families and individuals are served and empowered to work toward self-sufficiency. 2020 marked the 85th anniversary of MHA, celebrating its rich history and contributions toward transformative revitalization of the Memphis landscape.