Homelessness is unfortunately a huge problem within the city of Memphis. Memphis also has a high rate of poverty, which at times leads to homelessness. Thankfully we have the Dorothy Day House of Hospitality. The Dorothy Day House provides temporary housing and support services for homeless families. By working with other local agencies, staff members and volunteers help provide families in need with a safe environment and the means to re-establish their independence. The key is keeping families together.
As I arrived, I was greeted by a very kind and goodhearted woman by the name of Sister Maureen. She really took the time and talked about what the Dorothy Day House of Hospitality (DDHH) is and why it is important to make sure that families who find themselves homeless should be able to stay together. A family sticking together is key when re-establishing their independence and knowing they are always there for each other. The House can only hold three families at a time. Most families stay at least six months or more depending on how long it takes them to get their feet back on the ground. While I was there, I got to meet one of the families – a single mom with her daughter and son. I also was able to be there for their Sunday night prayer service which involves a prayer, a reading, and a reflection and of course dessert. I learned that the Dorothy Day House not only helps the families find jobs, but they make sure that goals are set. Goal setting is a great tool and positive outlet to help a person get to self-sufficiency.
Dorothy Day House has a goal themselves. They hope to have an apartment area for residents from the DDHH one day. Once residents have found a job, the key is to save their money, but also to get their independence back by finding an apartment to live in. This apartment could be a starting point until they are able to find a more permanent place to live. It usually takes $150,000 to keep DDHH funded. DDHH is solely based on donations from private donors and charitable organizations. Sometimes people get concerned with wanting bigger and better things and they lose their focus. We need to stop and think of others. It is good to be thankful and content with what we have and start caring for the homeless. Does having it “all” make life any easier? Not necessarily, but showing compassion for others through God’s love is living for Him. Also, when you die you can’t take your worldly possessions with you so why not help our brothers and sisters out if you have the means financially. I love how Sister Maureen said she came to Memphis to be a choir director but God definitely had other plans for her life.
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