MIFA receives $5 million grant to fight homelessness in Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Metropolitan Inter Faith Association (MIFA) is getting a $5 million grant to help enhance its services for homeless families.

Groups that partner with MIFA say the funds will help address a growing problem.

The ministry provides emergency shelter by organizing 55 congregations to take in small groups in a hospitality-oriented program.

"I love it here because they send us to places where we can sleep, have a warm bed, we have food to eat, and the people that host us are very nice to us," Verlanda Lane said.

Lane is grateful to have MIFA, but the city's need is far greater than the available resources.

"That tends to be especially true for families these days, for women and single mothers and families that have children," said Lisa Anderson, executive director of Room in the Inn Memphis. "The number of emergency shelter spaces for them is very low in this city."

Room in the Inn Memphis " is one of MIFA's partners in the war on homelessness.

Anderson said news that MIFA will receive a $5 million grant to address the problem is exciting.

"MIFA and Room in the Inn are service providers that work together," she said. "We provide services to the same people: to families who are seeking shelter and housing."

The $5 million grant, through the Day One Families Fund, will help MIFA and its partners provide assistance to homeless families.

"What we hope to do is deepen the impact, deepen the work we have with families that have gone through the trauma of being in shelter or being homeless," MIFA president and CEO Sally Jones Heinz said.

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