Rev. Jerry Corlew- Senior Homeless Initiative
Over 45 years ago, Rev. Jerry Corlew’s passion for serving the affordable housing needs for seniors has evolved into the Wesley Living family of senior care companies. Jerry passed away in December, 2015 and left behind a legacy of unwavering service to seniors and their families. Rev. Corlew served his ministry in the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC). His appointments included Associate Minister Fountain Avenue UMC in Paducah, KY and Oakland and Palma UMC churches in Benton County, KY. In 1960 Jerry and his wife Martha Ann moved to Grace UMC in Humboldt, TN, then to First UMC in Henderson, TN. In 1968, Rev. Corlew was appointed to start the United Methodist Neighborhood Centers in Memphis, TN. Other churches he served in Shelby County were First UMC in Millington, Executive Minister at Christ UMC in Memphis, and First UMC in Collierville. In recognition and memorial to Jerry’s unselfish service, the Wesley Senior Ministries Foundation’s efforts to combat senior homelessness have been named in Jerry’s honor.
According to the Homeless Research Institute, the estimated incidence rate of elderly homelessness will increase 33% by 2020. Several years ago, The Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a notice allowing affordable housing providers, like Wesley Living, the opportunity to serve the growing incidence of senior homeless by allowing preference to homeless seniors. Wesley Living responded by adjusting the tenant selection plan at our communities to favor homeless seniors. To date, Wesley has been in the forefront nationally in this endeavor to serve the senior homeless population. Since this was a new initiative addressing a complex sociological problem, the results were hard to project. Who were these homeless seniors? Where would these homeless seniors come from? Would they be the stereotypical homeless from the nooks and crannies of our metropolitan area or would they come from other domains? Was an invitation being extended to a population under bridges and overpasses with all the inherent issues associated?
After many productive years, these seniors sometimes suddenly find themselves in extremely untenable situations. A wavering economy, unexpected late life job loss and late life living changes, such as divorce, all contribute to this new group of homeless. These situations are what the family of Wesley senior care companies are uniquely qualified to serve.
With the loving support afforded the Foundation we have been able to support the restoration of life for these dear folks who literally come to us with nothing. Since August 2014, over $65,000 has been spent on daily use items, food and furniture to minimize the effects of senior homelessness.
Wesley Senior Ministries Foundation through the GOLDEN CROSS Senior Residents Fund™, strives to restore dignity and increase peace of mind to seniors living in Wesley Living communities. Experiencing homelessness and finding Wesley can truly become a life transformation event for these dear people. Our communities have seen firsthand the unexpected causes and outcomes of senior homelessness.
Your generosity towards the mission of Wesley Senior Ministries Foundation equips our ministry to handle this growing challenge facing many more seniors.
A “Move-In Kit” provides all the daily use items needed to start a home.
Here are the items included: Move In Kit
A “Bountiful Blessings” provides a month’s worth of non-perishable food. Bountiful Blessings Bags