Jacob's Ladder Community Development Corporation
158 Marne Street
Memphis TN 38111-3421
Contact Information
Address 158 Marne Street
Memphis, TN 38111 3421
Telephone 901 327-7055
E-mail jacobsladdercdc@aol.com
Mission Statement The mission of Jacob's Ladder CDC is the revitalization of the Belt Line through community partnerships.
CEO/Executive Director Rev. William D. Marler
Board Chair Rev. Kenton C. Burnette
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired United Methodist District Superintendent
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2004
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $250,000.00
Projected Expenses $210,000.00
CEO/Executive Director Comments

Mission The mission of Jacob's Ladder CDC is the revitalization of the Belt Line through community partnerships.
Background The Jacob's Ladder Community development Corporation was formed in 2004 to become a mechanism of health and healing for its community.  JLCDC has identified and built programs responding to the blight/crime, at-risk youth and housing needs of the Belt Line.  Strong on collaboration, over 50 different groups partner with us to achieve our goals.
Impact We have an effective and aggressive blight/crime remediation program, heavy on partnership with MPD and Code enforcement.  Since 2006, the Belt Line has witnessed an 80% drop in crime and an equally significant improvement in property conditions. Our community building and housing renovation program has played a critical role in the above trend,  and our children's after school program regularly puts us in a position to help families most in need.  The combined effect of the three above mentioned initiatives really help us understand and have the impulse of our community.  Much remains to be done, but the Belt Line of 2017 is a significantly better place to live, work and play than it was 12 years ago. 
Jacob's Ladder needs $20,000  to finish it's new community center and make it fully operational.  We would also like to expand the staff and facilities for our after school program ($30,000.), a critical investment in the future of Belt Line youth.    
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Shelby County
TN - 38111
Serving the Belt Line Community in inner-city Memphis
Board Chair
Board Chair Rev. Kenton C. Burnette
Company Affiliation Retired United Methodist District Superintendent
Term July 2006 to Dec 2019
Email burn6333@bellsouth.net
Board of Directors
Board Members
Rev. Kenton C. Burnette Retired United Methodist District Superintendent
Mr. Byron C. Crain Retired Vice President Kroger Manufacturing
Mr. Bernard Green
Mr. Al Lyles
Ms. Shirley Lyles
Mr. Carlton Ray Shelby County 911
Ms. Connie Tilton
Mr. Darrell Wilbern
Rev. Robert L. Williams Senior Pastor Williams Temple COGIC
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 1
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? No
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Executive Director
Executive Director Rev. William D. Marler
Email jacobsladdercdc@aol.com
Experience Jacob's Ladder CDC started as a dream to improve one very challenged community in inner city Memphis called the Belt Line. Our name comes from the Biblical story of a ladder reaching from earth to heaven, a metaphor for the flow of much needed resources to a challenged community.  In 12 years our team has grown from 0 to over 50 supporting organizations.
We operate three results oriented programs services:
  1. Blight crime remediation.
  2. An after school life program offering life skills program to neighborhood children.
  3. Housing renovation with a path to eventual homeownership.
Full Time Staff 3
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 50
Contractors 10
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? No
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Organization Comments

The Jacob's Ladder Board subdivides into four components:

  1. blight crime remediation
  2. children's programming
  3. housing renovation
  4. community relations.

Our executive committee guides board policy; our finance committee is our fund raising arm, and our entire board supports our four components.


Jacob's Ladder aggressively pursues a blight/crime reduction program in cooperation with MPD, Memphis Code Enforcement, Environmental Court , Public Works, the Shelby County Trustee's Office and other partners.  We demolish substandard structures, cut and maintain vacant lots year round, supply summer time jobs for community youth, and establish a physical and psychological presence to encourage our citizens.

Population Served General/Unspecified
Budget $150,000.00
Short Term Success Since 2006 crime has dropped more than 80%.  We think there is a direct cause effect relationship between crime reduction and blight cleanup.  During this time we have demolished 40 vacant problem structures and currently maintain 100 previously vacant lots. 
Long Term Success 2017 MPD Statistics to date show us as cleaner, safer and friendlier.  The Belt Line occupies 4% of the Tillman Police Precinct area but generates only 1.5 % of area crime, despite violent crime surges in other adjacent communities.
Examples of Program Success Boston Street was a children's gauntlet to the area public school with 25 vacant houses (including one gang house) and 25 unmaintained lots. The school was at the bottom of the state's academic failing list.  Since 2014 we have demolished 14 structures and now maintain 20 of those lots, employing neighborhood youth and adults.
Description We support the educational and emotional development of under served children in our community by offering life skills, enrichment programs, a safe sanctuary, field trips and more.  Curriculum includes school tutoring, classes in health/hygiene, art, music and cooking and summer jobs.
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Budget $50,000.00
Short Term Success Children with emotional and physical disabilities are identified and given extra attention. Undernourished youth are taught how to cook, read and measure recipes. 
Long Term Success The center is an emotional and physical sanctuary for neighborhood children and families, is generally packed and operating at full capacity (20- children).  This past year we have bought extra chairs, tables, playground equipment and expanded our food budget.
Examples of Program Success One family of six children lost their home to fire this past summer.  Jacob's Ladder helped them find a new (and better) home in the community, gave extra emotional support to help them stabilize their school attendance and academic performance through this trauma,  and forged lifelong bonds of friendship.
    The bricks we lay are for both community building and housing. Every healthy community has a purposeful identity, a sum greater than the individual units that comprise it. Jacob's Ladder spends time and capitol helping our service area as a whole
to create a different narrative. Our pattern follows the seasons of the year.
    Each spring neighbors and volunteers combine to plant trees, landscape, demolish old structures and make other improvements to our community. In summer months we paint murals, garden, and help our seniors with emergency repairs. During the football season our neighbors part cars as a fund raiser for summer youth jobs. In late fall we celebrate the 3rd Saturday in November with a clothing sale, ecumenical worship service and community wide Thanksgiving dinner. 
Population Served General/Unspecified
Budget $10,000.00
Long Term Success Our efforts have attracted over fifty different teams from within and outside our service area to participate in community improvement.
Jacob's Ladder, combines a volunteer/ contractor team to fully renovate homes inside our service area.  Special priority is given to modernizing electrical/plumbing, HVAC and insulation systems.  Once complete,  previously vacant homes are made available for purchase/rent.  To give our local neighborhood economy a boost,  Jacob's Ladder employs contractors from our own service area whenever possible. Since 2005 the Jacob's Ladder team has completed and maintained 25 houses. Focusing on our service area empowers us to make significant uplift to our community.
Our building program also adds critical assets to the Belt Line. For example, our children's center was once a vacant problem house, but now houses a vital after school and summer program for elementary/middle school children.  
Vacant houses deemed beyond repair are demolished and lots maintained as part of an aggressive anti-blight/crime program.
Population Served General/Unspecified
Budget $75,000.00
Short Term Success 25 housing renovations completed, the crime/blight tide is being turned.
Long Term Success Since 2006 overall Belt Line crime has dropped 80%.
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $250,000.00
Projected Expenses $210,000.00
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$189,070$126,972$163,562
Administration Expense$23,836$17,807$24,541
Fundraising Expense$17,576$12,668$8,106
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.281.431.30
Program Expense/Total Expenses82%81%83%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue8%7%4%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$468,804$413,774$347,253
Current Assets$26,048$37,305$1,755
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$5,885$8,375$9,673
Total Net Assets$462,919$405,399$337,580
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities4.434.450.18
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit
State of TN Charitable Solicitations Permit 2018View
Address 158 Marne Street
Memphis, TN 38111 3421
Primary Phone 901 327-7055
Contact Email jacobsladdercdc@aol.com
CEO/Executive Director Rev. William D. Marler
Board Chair Rev. Kenton C. Burnette
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired United Methodist District Superintendent


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