SHIELD, INC. became a collaboration of a group of concerned Social Workers and Mental Health Professionals who had seventy-two years of combined experience in social services. In November 2000, SHIELD, INC. became a corporation and in August 2001 SHIELD, INC received its non-profit 501 (c) (3) status from the Internal Revenue Service.
SHIELD’s mission was to create programs which would help homeless persons and persons with disabilities to live independently in the community. The goal was to accomplish this through permanent housing, supportive services, job training, recreational activities, support groups, informational meetings, and advocacy. The goal was also designed to educate the community and help them to better understand the obstacles faced by homeless individuals and families, and persons with disabilities. .
So many times our consumers lack the ability to access permanent, safe affordable housing and community resources. In January 2002, SHIELD began it first supportive living program called Yes, I Can at Miracle Manor (formerly known as Irving Park Apartments). The purpose of this program was to increase the housing stability of persons with mental illness, and to link residents with community resources. Yes, I Can brings community resources on-site that will enhance the quality of life and increase residents’ access to community and mainstream resources.
In September 2002, SHIELD was asked to manage Miracle Manor aka Irving Park Apartments, a 65-unit complex, and continue to market the property to mental health centers, the homeless population, hospitals, and other social service agencies. We offer limited background and credit checks. We also provide assistance for persons normally unable to obtain housing. We still provide supportive services through the Yes, I CanProgram.
In November 2002, SHIELD was asked to manage the Bent Creek Town homes, an 86-unit complex, in West Memphis, AR. Since that time we have been able to place persons with disabilities through the Supportive Housing Program in Little Rock, AR, as well as participants who hold section 8 vouchers.
In February 2003, SHIELD was awarded a grant to start a transitional home called Destiny House (formerly Francis House). Destiny House served young adults ages 18-21 that have aged out of state’s custody foster care. This program was designed to transition youth from foster care into independent young adults and assist them with living independently in the community. The Destiny House program provided educational, vocational, job placement and entrepreneurial opportunities. The program operated based on donations to the program. This program ended in December 2008 due to lack of funding.
In 2003, SHIELD was awarded a grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank to purchase and renovate the Irving Park apartments to create safe affordable, decent permanent housing for persons with disabilities.
In December 2003, SHIELD was awarded a rental assistance grant from HUD and the Continuum of Care for nine (9) units to serve chronically homeless individuals with mental illness. In 2006, this award was upgraded to include an additional 24 units for chronically homeless, mentally ill and dually diagnosed individuals. This program is still in effect and thriving to this date.
In January 2004, SHIELD purchased the Irving Park Apartments, a 65-unit apartment complex with grants from the City of Memphis and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati. This property is currently in operation as Miracle Manor.
In March 2004, SHIELD was awarded and has continued to receive a small grant through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program. This grant provides for an emergency shelter program to serve families with male children 11 years and older, intact families (husbands and wives with children), and males with children. This was a major accomplishment as this gap in service has existed for many years.
In 2005, SHIELD was awarded a grant from the Center for Medicaid and Medicare to educate seniors about the prescription drug card. SHIELD was recognized as one of the top 10 agencies in the United States for its work with the Medicare Prescription Drug Card Program. We were also awarded additional funding for this project.
In October 2005, SHIELD was awarded a small grant in partnership with Dr. William Young and The Healing Center to renovate 10 units to assist Katrina Victims with housing. This program ended in February 2007.
In May 2006, SHIELD was awarded a grant through the City of Memphis to expand the emergency shelter program by two additional units. This grant increased the total units for emergency shelter to four (4).
In February 2007, a grant from Valero was awarded to SHIELD to assist youth in Destiny House and the homeless youth in our emergency shelter with rental and utility assistance, bus passes, school supplies and uniforms.
Also in 2007, the City of Memphis awarded SHIELD a Homeless Prevention Grant to provide funds to aid families and persons with mental illness in the form of utility and rental assistance.
In December 2007, SHIELD received a donation from Hasbro Toys, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Family Dollar to assist us with toys for our annual Christmas Giveaway for families with children. With these donations, we served over 700 children and families.
In January 2008, SHIELD received a grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation for assistance with our homeless program.
In April 2008, Greater Works Inc, under the direction of Dr. Gina M. Stewart, made a generous donation toward our homeless program.
In December 2008, SHIELD received toy donations or monetary assistance in purchasing toys for our annual Christmas Giveaway from the following companies: Hasbro Toys, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, and Family Dollar Stores.
Over the years since our inception, we have collaborated with the following agencies:
Meritan (formerly known as Senior Services)
Southwest Community College – Intern Program
University of Tennessee - Social Work Intern Program
We have received generous donations of food and other items from various ministries, agencies and companies through the years, including, but not limited to:
New Life In Christ Ministries – Pastors Kevin and Linda Willis
Neighborhood Christian Center