Each Tuesday, as part of our Community Changers series, we highlight organizations making memphis better. This week, we caught up with a group that believes in saying yes to one group that is often told no.
Roger Wolcott and his wife Margery are the co-founders and executive directors of Constance Abbey, a daytime hospitality ministry serving the homeless.”For starters, people on the street have lost their listening audience,” Roger said.
“They’re human beings. We want to treat them as best as we can. Like I would like to be treated,” Margery said.
Monday through Saturday, Constance Abbey serves a free hot breakfast.
“Let people enjoy a hot breakfast. Chat with each other,” Roger said.
Kenneth Turner has been on the streets for over a year after serving time in federal prison.
“I’m just not homeless homeless but I’m homeless. I don’t have my own. I have family members that love me. But they have their own and i don’t want to be in their way,” Kenneth said. “It’s hard, man, if you’re not making the money. The type of money that you need to make in order to have a decent living.”
“When you’re on the street…at some level, you lost it. And just getting back to a place where you want a job, you want housing, it might be some time,” Roger said.
Constance Abbey understands. That’s why they also have a clothing closet stocked with shoes, socks and seasonal items. The also provide access to showers and they’ll even wash the clothes guests do have.
They’re also a resource that can point you in the right direction.
“Anybody who wants help with addiction. Employment. Health, that is mostly mental health. But we get people to doctor’s appointments everyday,” Roger said. The word homeless people hear most often is no. Get a job, do it yourself. We try to say yes.”
This is why our anonymous donor wanted to give Constance Abbey a thousand dollars.
Because when you offer a listening ear to a group that is often overlooked, you start to mend what may be broken.
They’re a true Community Changer.