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Hospitality Hub helping homeless community in Memphis

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 10:38 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Since 2007, the Hospitality Hub in Memphis has worked to help people get off the streets.

The nonprofit helps find homes and work for those facing homelessness.

“I’m here to get my business took care of,” said Hospitality Hub client Vincent Lockhart.

Lockhart regularly frequents the Hospitality Hub in Memphis. The organization helps him get to medical appointments and provides him with personal grooming items.

“They do everything you ask them to do up to their ability,” Lockhart said.

The hub provides shelter vouchers. Individuals also receive help with getting an ID and a birth certificate, which are both crucial for securing work.

“All of our resources and all of our efforts are to help people to exit homelessness,” said Kelcey Johnson, executive director of the Hospitality Hub.

As the temperatures drop in the Bluff City, the Hospitality Hub sees more clients.

“We get a lot more traffic coming through the hospitality hub,” said Client Pathway Coordinator Bailey Amos.

A new challenge this year is vaccinating the homeless. More shelters require it. And there are not enough beds for homeless women.

“And that is our main struggle right now,” Amos said.

When the temps drop so low that staying on the streets becomes life-threatening, the Hospitality Hub is able to coordinate with city government to place people in hotels.

But some don’t find shelter in time.

“I’ve been working for the Hospitality Hub now over 10 years. And I’ve never had a year yet where I didn’t have at least one of my clients that died due to cold weather,” Johnson said.

Reaching the homeless across the city isn’t easy. The Hospitality Hub encourages people to refer those in need to the hub or a nearby shelter.

“I think word of mouth is our greatest power,” said Amos.

The hub is located at 590 Washington Avenue near the Shelby County Land Bank and Juvenile Detention Center. The hub hotel is open to guests 24/7.

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