Have you ever wondered what happens to someone experiencing homelessness who is released from the hospital and needs a safe place to fully recover? Until recently, that was left to chance.
Room In The Inn is working to change that.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A hospital that was once one of the few places in Memphis that offered healthcare to African Americans and space for Black doctors and nurses to practice will soon be home to the Mid-South’s first recuperative care center for the homeless. Room In The Inn’s Recuperative Care Center will be housed in the historic Collins Chapel Connectional Hospital building.
The Recuperative Care Center will have 21 beds to offer recovery services for homeless people who are released from hospitals across the Mid-South.
“Many of us know that when we leave the hospital, it takes some time before we’re able to resume our normal lives. Often we recuperate at home, but that option may not be available for someone who is homeless. Until now, when a person experiencing homelessness was released from the hospital, where they went to recuperate was often left to chance,” said Reverend Lisa Anderson, executive director of Room In The Inn and pastor of Colonial Cumberland Presbyterian Church. That will change when Room In The Inn’s Recuperative Care Center opens later this year.
Room In The Inn’s Recuperative Care Center is being made possible through a partnership with the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, which owns the facility and will lease it to Room In The Inn, and the City of Memphis and Shelby County, which provided funding for the build-out. Room In The Inn will raise money to support ongoing operations.
Room In The Inn is a Memphis nonprofit that has created a network of more than 50 faith communities at church, synagogues, nonprofits and institutions of higher learning that provide “holy hospitality” in a safe environment to people experiencing homelessness. The faith communities have traditionally provided shelter at their places of worship, but shelter will now be provided at Room In The Inn’s new Collins Chapel campus. The faith communities will continue to provide meals, volunteers and other support.
The Room In The Inn Collins Chapel Campus will also include a new 14-room shelter for families that will be called the Family Inn and a Day Center for people experiencing homelessness. All Room In The Inn programs will offer supportive services to create a pathway to housing and self-sufficiency for guests.
Throughout the COVID pandemic, Room In The Inn has continued to provide shelter and meals in partnership with more than 50 congregations. Nov. 1 marked the beginning of Room In The Inn’s 11th year of providing emergency shelter to people newly experiencing homelessness.
Interview with Reverend Lisa Anderson, executive director of Room In The Inn and pastor of Colonial Cumberland Presbyterian Church: