What began as a dream and a hope in the minds of two people living in the community, Promise Development Corporation is now a full-fledged organization committed to making a difference in the lives of the people it serves.

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Promise began in 2000 as North Memphis Community Development Corporation, when two (2) long-time residents living in the community took steps to address issues in their community. They had seen their once-thriving neighborhood succumb to blight, crime and deterioration.

North Memphis was identified by the Division of Housing and Community Development (HCD) as a targeted geographic area for redevelopment. Located in census tract 2, this community is one of the poorest census tracts in the county:

  • The median worker income is $22,203.
  • The poverty rate is 35.2%.
  • Workers work 37/hrs per week on average.
  • At the time of the last census, the unemployment rate was 14.0%.
  • Homes have 5 rooms on average.
  • 37.4% of the homes are rentals and 38.7% are occupied by their owners.

    Source: Data provided by the US Census



Chartered as a Memphis Community Housing Development Organization



The organization began in 2000 as North Memphis Community Development Corporation, when two (2) long-time residents living in the community took steps to address issues in their community. 



Hope Presbyterian Church engaged through Urban Ministry and located office at Uptown Resource Center



In 2001, Hope Presbyterian Church, a 6,000 member congregation in Cordova, sought to make a deeper ministry and social impact in partnership with a particular
neighborhood. They, along with many city leaders, analyzed many neighborhoods throughout Memphis, TN. Hope chose the neighborhood in North Memphis for several reasons.

First, Hope had an excellent working relationship with the principal at Caldwell Elementary (now KIPP Academy) located in the heart of the community. KIPP is a national network of free, open enrollment college-preparatory schools. The school serves 500 elementary and high school students. Second, in 2000 the average household income in this census tract was $7,885. Third, there were no other large social service agencies or para-church organizations already serving the community. And, fourth, the neighborhood stakeholders (residents, business owners, and employees) were very open to partnering to address the needs in the community.



Cornelius Sanders named Executive Director

As a result of this commitment, Oasis of Hope was incorporated in 2003 as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with the aim to improve the quality of life for residents in the community. Oasis of Hope established an office adjacent to KIPP: Memphis Collegiate School, North Campus (formerly Caldwell Elementary school) where they provide many forms of support services for neighborhood residents. It was through this partnership with Hope Presbyterian Church that Cornelius Sanders came to be our Executive Director.

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Broke ground for our first home at 909 North 3rd Street

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Named General Partners on April Woods Apartment Complex.

Completed Eight (8) New Homes

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Chartered as a State of Tennessee Community Housing Development Organization

By 2012, Promise made a series of accomplishments: 

* Built four (4) new homes in Tipton and Lauderdale Counties.

* Shelby County – Built Two (2) New Homes

* NSP – 3 – Ten (10) New Homes

* Built Two (2) New Homes

* Selected for 100K Program (40 Clients)


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Relocated office to 40 South Main Street (I-Bank Building)

* Launched Memphis Strong Families Program (72 Families)

* Added 4 staff members

* Added: Bank of America (BOA) Properties - 8 Units – Citywide (Rehab)

* Added five (5) TN State CHODO Units in Tipton (1) and Shelby (4) Counties

* Added Five (5) Apartment Complexes: Estival, Idlewild Courts, Presley’s Place, Grizzlies Place, and Ramses




Changed name to Promise Development Corporation

* 100K Program – Added 22 Clients

* Added 5 staff members

* Secured funding for Community of Scholars - 10 Homes around KIPP Academy

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* Broke ground on six (6) Affordable Homes

* Successfully completed Memphis Strong Families Demonstration grant


Help us keep the promise

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