The Dorothy Day House is a home that supports and provides a safe space for homeless families. This facility is the only place in Memphis that accepts entire families without separating the children and parents. The house can take up to three families at a time, depending on their size and needs.
At the time of my visit there was only one family staying at the house. This is fairly rare, and, they often have to turn families away because they are full, sometimes up to fifteen families at a time. According to the Dorothy Day House, at the last count of homeless people, it was reported that an astounding 214 families are on the streets in Memphis.
As I listened to these statistics, I heard a baby crying upstairs; all I could think was that were it not for the Dorothy Day House and house manager Sister Maureen, that small child might be crying under a bridge or overpass. The mom could be worrying about where the next diaper or food to nourish them would come from or how she would feed her teenage son. I was unable to meet Sister Maureen, but I am told that she should receive Sainthood because of her giving and willing heart. She takes in and mentors these families, loving them and encouraging them.
There are many activities at the house, one of which I got to participate in which was prayer time on Sundays. It was wonderful to know that we were praying for the health and welfare for the family staying there and the ones that would be coming, as well as those who had already lived there. At Dorothy Day they offer assistance in parenting skills, job contacts, employment counseling, educational resources, and transportation. They also keep in touch with families to help ensure that they do not return to homelessness.
This non-profit organization depends largely on volunteers and donations. Without volunteers, the services they offer would be impossible. To take in a family of four and provide for their needs is costly. I hope you will go to their website and consider volunteering!
If you like our work, please consider making a contribution to keep it going!