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Woman’s Book Shows How She Raised 75 Children Without Public Funds

MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — A Memphis woman’s new memoir shows how she and her husband helped raise 75 children over the course of their marriage—without taking a dime of state or federal money.

“Called: How One Couple Served A City,” was written by biographer Sheridan Hill and published by Real Life Stories, LLC in May, 2014. It tells the story of JoeAnn and Monroe Ballard, who—living on a schoolteacher’s salary and without public assistance— took in 75 young people. Through the years, their compassionate acts birthed a thriving nonprofit organization that continues to touch the lives of thousands of neighbors in need each year: Neighborhood Christian Centers in Memphis, TN; Jackson, MS; and Decatur, AL.

Although the Ballards had precious little, they continued to help young people who came their way, offering a meal, a kind word, and a room in their home. One of the late Monroe Ballard’s “spare time” jobs became adding on to their humble home in North Memphis.

After billions of dollars in failed federal and state poverty programs have swirled down the drain, close observers now conclude what JoeAnn and Monroe Ballard knew long ago: poverty is the result of broken relationships and the only way to impact poverty is relationally.

JoeAnn Ballard estimates that 95 percent of the under-resourced children who stayed in her home succeeded in life afterwards: not dropping out of high school, not getting pregnant as unwed teens, not committing crimes, not becoming involved with drugs, not going to jail, but rather the opposite. They finished school, found jobs, saved money, married, and began giving back to the community.

Called (156 pages, ISBN 978-0-979-13554-5) is available online from, at Amazon, and select bookstores.

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