The Hub Hotel program began on March 17th, 2020 as a pop-up emergency shelter serving women in response to the onset of the COVID pandemic. In one day, the Hub shifted from operating an intake and referral services location 8 hours per day to running a new 24/7 program in addition to its existing services.
By the end of March 2020, the Hub Hotel program and staff moved into a boutique hotel(The Moxy) in Downtown Memphis to allow for non-congregate shelter to prevent the spread of COVID.
During this time the University of Memphis’s Anthropology Department conducted improvisational research for a photo essay on Homelessness and Improvisational Waiting under Covid-19. The photo-essay engages with the central theme of waiting under COVID-19 among a group of homeless women at the LUX hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. The images and text capture the structural shelter-in-place conditions and how the women worked within those regulations to construct a new relationship to time and the self. Improvisational waiting emphasizes the creative ways women at the Moxy(LUX) Hotel turned experiences of waiting into novel rhythms of life that held the promise of a better future.
In June 2020, Hub Hotel guests moved into the program’s new permanent home on N Claybrook Street, where it continues to operate 24/7—providing three meals, dedicated case workers, transportation, and transitional housing to as many as 22 women each day.
The nature of the Hub Hotel program allows our staff to generate a deep familiarity with each guest and the challenges they face. As a result, we offer more targeted solutions to guests and have the time and space to identify employment options and permanent housing opportunities with guests, which can take weeks.