[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MARCH 19, 2020]
On Monday night, Hospitality Hub staff received word that several Memphis homeless shelters, including one of the very few shelters serving women, were closing indefinitely in the wake of the growing COVID-19 pandemic. We responded by coordinating an effort with several local partners to establish an emergency pop-up shelter at First Presbyterian Church that provided housing to 21 women experiencing homelessness less than 24 hours later. We will continue to operate this pop-up shelter as long as we are able and are looking into options for expansion.
The Hospitality Hub is providing basic services with a reduced staff at 82 N 2nd St, including locker access, restroom use, coffee, and mail. All Hub staff continue to receive pay regardless of whether they are working from home or at the Hub.
We are taking a number of strict precautions to keep our staff and guests safe at the Hub and the emergency pop-up shelter, including following CDC social distancing recommendations and severely limiting the number of people allowed to enter these spaces. For this reason, please do not show up unannounced to the Hub or the pop-up shelter to donate items or volunteer your time.
Here are several opportunities to get involved:
- Donate to the Hospitality Hub to help cover the costs of operating a new shelter, including food, bedding, toilet paper, staff time, security, and other supplies.
- Volunteer to shuttle bedding used by shelter guests to a local laundromat for washing each day. Those interested in learning more and signing up for a volunteer slot can email Hub Program Manager Shelby Stonecipher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see more updates, volunteer opportunities, and info about what items we need to be donated in the coming days and weeks.
We are immensely grateful to our community during this time. Without your support over the years, we wouldn’t be able to mobilize this quickly to provide solutions to the homeless community in Memphis. We have a lot more work to do but wanted to take a moment to update and thank you.
The Hospitality Hub Team