Dorothy Day House to offer more transitional housing for homeless families

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- There’s about to be more transitional housing available for Memphis families going through a rough patch in life.

The Dorothy Day House is opening three more houses for homeless families in our community as they find jobs and get back on their feet.

“We basically look for families who’ve just hit a rough spot in life," said executive director Sister Maureen Griner.

The Dorothy Day House is unique in that it takes in homeless families in Memphis, meaning parents and children together, as they work to get back on their feet.

“You don’t see families standing on the street trying to get money or food; most homeless families hide because they don’t want their children taken from them.”

The Dorothy Day House helps with aspects like finding work, housing, schooling, transportation and paying off bills.

Right now, they take in three families at a time, but they’re about to quadruple that as they open three more homes.

They say a house on Peabody will be the first of the new locations to open sometime next year. It was donated to them by the Church Health Center.

The two other houses are nearby on Peabody and Bellevue. Dorothy Day House bought those and hopes to have them open by 2020.

“It’s not unusual for us to turn away four or five families a day, so it’s very painful.”

All of the new houses have bigger bedrooms, so they’ll be able to assist more people.

They say they have a 65 to 70 percent success rate, meaning families leave with stability for their future, while sometimes also breaking a generational cycle of homelessness.

“It’s heartwarming because they put so much effort into it; that’s part of our philosophy at the Dorothy Day House is our families have to want it more than we do.”

They’re also looking at opening a new office.

Dorothy Day House is trying to reach a $5 million campaign to keep their work up and to also spread awareness in the community. If you’re interested in helping, go here.