Churches in Memphis prepare to open doors during cold weather

Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 6:54 PM CST

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - With dangerously cold temperatures pushing into parts of the Mid-South, The Room in the Inn is stepping up in preparation ahead of this Christmas cold freeze.

The inn has locked arms with several congregations, such as Calvary Episcopal Church in the heart of Downtown, to house and feed the homeless ahead of the arctic blast.

“We’ve opened this ‘Welcome Inn,’ and we want to share it with the community,” said Christine Todd, Calvary Episcopal Church Director of Community Ministries.

The newly opened inn at the church, which sleeps 15, has several showers and blankets available.

On Christmas Day, the church will serve breakfast to feed 150 and provide a closet full of warm clothes for adults to choose from.

The church said having a place like this is a product of the church’s mission: making God’s love visible.

“In Memphis right now, there’s so many families that sleep in cars, that really don’t have anywhere to go,” said Todd.

Calvary Episcopal Church is one of six churches in partnership with the Room in the Inn this week.

Although the nonprofit works with a network of 29 congregations for emergency overnight shelter, times like this are why staff say there is always a need for more.

“We will help them try to find those places. We have some rooms here on our campus and we will fill all of those until we don’t have anymore,” said Lisa Anderson, executive director of Room in the Inn.

Six places are opening their doors this week in partnership with the Room in the Inn:

  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church
  • St Louis Catholic
  • Germantown Presbyterian
  • Incarnation Catholic Church
  • Germantown United Methodist
  • Calvary Episcopal Church

Room in the Inn is always free.

Those seeking shelter must first check in at Memphis First United Methodist Church between 4-5 p.m.

Room in the Inn’s Emergency Winter Shelter operates from Nov. 1 through March 31.

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