Homeless Women In Crisis This Summer

(Memphis) A Memphis homeless resource center is calling it a “crisis situation” for women this month.

It’s summer, and there aren’t enough beds for women who don’t have a place to live.

The Hospitality Hub says Friday morning there was a mother and her five kids outside when it opened up, in a need of a place to stay, but because the shelters are full. The resource center actually rented them a hotel room.

“There’s just not as many beds as there are for men,” said Linda Bozant, a 55-year-old homeless woman, who says she was in school when she came down with Graves’ disease, which put her on the street.

Bozant has learned how to survive on the streets in a city seemingly tough on homeless women.

“It’s been hard to find shelter. I have slept in my cars for a few nights. I stayed out in the open for a few nights.”

“Women are the ones that are getting the short end right now because the shelter beds are full and there are very few shelter beds for women,” said Kelcey Johnson, the associate director of the Hospitality Hub. “Most of the shelter beds in Memphis are designated for males only.”

Johnson says in the heat of summer, the Hospitality Hub must get creative to find women and their children a place to stay

“Some are even being bused out of town,” said Johnson. “If we find that to be a resource, we pay for them to get out of here.”

He says a big part of their budget is busing people out of town if they have family there where they can get support. Johnson says other women are being told to seek shelter in West Memphis at a free missionary.

When worse comes to worse to get women off the streets, sometimes the Hospitality Hub will pay for them to get a hotel room but that’s not in the non-profit’s budget so Johnson is hoping things change in Memphis.

Johnson says churches are the main entity that fund homeless shelters and hopes they give a closer look at women in need.