Caritas is Latin for "Love for all People”

Leslie Barker, Caritas Director


Caritas Community is excited to have Leslie Barker as the new executive director of Caritas Village. She will lead the organization in continuing to fulfill its mission to build bridges among individuals with diverse ethnic, racial and socioeconomic backgrounds through the use of art, music, hospitality, theatre and classes. Barker brings a wealth of progressive experience in developing arts-based educational programs with a community focus stimulating creative, healthy and positive exchange and action.


Barker previously served as director of Outreach and Education with Theatre Memphis. During her tenure with the organization, she spearheaded SPEAK – a program designed to motivate Melrose High Schools students to use art as a technique to address social issues. She also provided instruction and facilitation for the Rhodes College/Central High School Theatre Memphis fellowship, developed workshop and summer camp curriculum and, wrote scripts and directed plays for the Theatre Memphis touring company ShoWagon. Baker is a seasoned arts educator, stage director, grant writer, program creator, mentor and motivator.


Onie Johns, Founder


Onie Johns left her suburban Germantown life to engage in a “ministry of presence.” Through Caritas Village, which she founded, Onie strives to “break down walls of hostility between races, rich and poor, and provide a positive street-corner alternative for neighborhood children.” Caritas Village now includes a restaurant and offers a wide range of cultural and arts activities to the additionally, the Village offers a theater, art studio, free health clinic, after-school programs, tutoring and ESL programs. All this hospitality and all the services are available in Binghamton, one of Memphis’ most under served neighborhoods.


"Onie Johns is passionate about community and the arts and believes that creativity is more valuable than knowledge and feels that we are all sojourners on earth and that there is “enough” for everyone."



In her efforts to build strong families in Binghamton and to create racial harmony throughout the city, Onie has joined forces with Service Over Self, Bridges, Jacob’s Ladder and numerous churches, among others. Onie’s life and work personify the values of the Women’s Foundation.


The Legends Award pays tribute to women whose work embodies the mission of the Women’s Foundation.

Chef Eli Townsend


Chef Eli is a native Memphian and graduate of Frayser High School. He just returned to Memphis from Little Rock working  at the Community Bakery as Kitchen/ Front of the House manager. He has several years of experience in the Food,Beverage and Hospitality Industry As Chef De' Cuisine for Wade and Company Catering/ Tower Center, Miss Cordelia's in HarborTown and currently as Chef/ Restaurant Manager of Caritas Village.


Food and cooking have been apart of his life since the age of 8. Having the ability to combine his love for all things culinary, with the proper education and training have helped to create a better chef and human being. It is his belief that we were all created to serve a purpose greater than ourselves.

"A Compassionate

Neighborhood Clinic"

Caritas hosts a free medical clinic with an all volunteer staff every 2nd, 3rd and 4th Tuesday night 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Doctors and nurses treat minor adult and childhood illnesses, help find doctors to treat chronic illnesses, and provide health education. STAFF WILL NOT write prescriptions for pain, nerves, diets or sleeping pills. Nor will they complete disability evaluations/paperwork, admit clients to hospitals, or replace a patient's regular physician. Treatment is first-come, first-served. Must bring picture ID. Spanish-speaking staff member available. General Information: Hrs, Tue 6pm-8pm, No Fee, For Residents of Binghamton, zip code 38112. Walk in basis, Spanish-speaking staff member available.


The Village is Looking for:

We will begin renovations in the next month.We are looking for building: building materials, plumbers, demolition help, packers, bookkeeping help and craftsman. If interested please go to our contact page and send us a message telling us which position you are interested in.

Caritas Village 2509 Harvard Ave.

Memphis, TN 38112 (901) 327-5246

Caritas Village & Caritas Community

is a Non-profit 501(c)(3)

Copyright © 2016

All Rights Reserved By Caritas Village

Caritas hours of operation:

9am - 8pm Monday - Saturday

Closed on Sundays and major holidays.

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