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Grand Opening of Region’s First Barrier-Free Shelter for Women Experiencing Homelessness

Grand Opening of Region’s First Barrier-Free Shelter for Women Experiencing Homelessness

Memphis, TN –  The Hospitality Hub, a full-service, innovative homelessness services organization and facility located at 590 Washington Avenue, announces the grand opening of the Hospitality Hub Campus on October 20, which includes the region’s first barrier-free emergency shelter for women designed to facilitate healing from trauma. The Hospitality Hub will welcome the majority of its unhoused guests through this new campus, which offers expanded services, including the organization’s Work Local employment program, identification support, transportation, COVID testing and vaccinations, long-term housing services, and more.

“The Hospitality Hub’s new campus is a barrier-free space,” says Kelcey Johnson, Executive Director. “We have removed a lot of the barriers that prevent people from getting the help they need. Our guests don’t need to pay, show certain documents, or prove anything to us—our services are open to anyone who needs our help.” Barrier-free shelters and homeless services operate on the premise that homelessness is not an individual choice or attributed to personal disposition. Rather, the Hospitality Hub recognizes homelessness as the result of a mix of economic, structural, and societal factors that affect society’s most vulnerable.

In addition to the Women’s Shelter, the Hospitality Hub Campus consists of a quiet room, family room, playroom, volunteer-run hair and nail salon, and green spaces that serve as urban sanctuaries, providing opportunities for respite and improved well-being for Hospitality Hub guests. The campus is also home to the Hub Studios, auxiliary dwelling units, or ADUs reserved for the marginalized homeless community with unique needs for whom other temporary shelter options are insufficient or non-existent. The Hub Studios program combines trauma-informed temporary emergency shelter with dedicated on-site case counselors to assist them with securing permanent housing.

“The Hospitality Hub’s new building and expanded services represent a model of regional collaboration that we’re confident can be replicated in other cities,” said Ellen Roberds, Co-Founder, and Principal at Dragonfly, a social innovation firm that managed fundraising for and construction of the new building. “Instead of further marginalizing unhoused people by supporting punitive approaches to homelessness, our partners worked with us to secure resources to provide stabilizing services and judgment-free counseling.” Partners in this project include Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, U.S. Representative Steve Cohen, and numerous other elected officials, private foundations, local businesses, and individuals. “This facility will offer a safe place for women who are at a critical point in their lives,” Mayor Jim Strickland said. “I’m so pleased to have been able to get this done and so thankful to our many partners for helping us complete this project for women in need.”

For more information about all the Hospitality Hub services, please visit