MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Every Tuesday, as part of our Community Changers series, we highlight organizations making Memphis better. This week, we caught up with a group that believes everyone deserves to be loved.
Lisieux Community is a drop-in center off Summer Avenue. It’s a nonprofit organization that provides a safe place for women who live on the streets.
Leslie Stewart is the board chair. “[They get] to come and get a meal, a shower. We do their laundry. We have lockers for them where they can receive mail.”
They also connect homeless women with services. “There are tons of social services available, but the women we see can’t access them because they don’t have an address to give them to get the letter. They don’t have a phone number. They don’t have an ID,” said Stewart.
That’s why these lockers are so important. Having an address to give when you’re unhoused is vital.
Jordan Doss is the executive director. “We’ll get them their ID, social security card– help them with those things. They can lock the originals up here so they don’t have to worry about carrying them,” she said.
Additionally, Lisieux Community offers showers on Mondays. Each woman receives a shower kit with essential items, along with the ability to do laundry. Volunteers wash between thirty and forty loads of laundry a week.
The ladies can also spend time watching movies, playing board games in the living room or enjoying some downtime.
“If we look in here and we see that the lights are out and women are taking naps, we know we’ve done our job,” said Boss. “Because they feel like they’re in a safe place where they can actually close their eyes– and not very often do they get to do that.”
They even offer meals served family style while intentionally not using paper plates or plastic silverware. “We use actual plates and cups. We do coffee as well, and we’ll serve that in a mug. We want the woman to feel like they are at home,” Boss said.
And when your family and friends have given up on you, “We are the rare voice in their life that just says, ‘It’s okay. We all fall down. Let’s get back up, and let’s go again,'” Stewart said.
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That is why Brown Missionary Baptist Church wanted to give Lisieux Community $1,000 because everyone deserves love unconditionally.
A true community changer.
For more information on Lisieux Community, click here.