Historic Collins Chapel reopens as safe haven for homeless after renovations

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A historic African American hospital is reopening its doors after being closed for decades and a multi-million-dollar renovation.

Collins Chapel Connectional Hospital was once one of the only hospitals for African Americans in Memphis and now, the newly renovated facility will be a safe haven for the homeless.

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“It won’t be major surgery, but we are going to bring hope and inspiration to his community and the individuals that come to visit here,” said Councilwoman Cheyenne Johnson.

The reopening is a partnership between the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and Room In The Inn homeless ministry with funding from the city, county and federal CARES Act.

Rev. Lisa Anderson said this is the first of its kind facility in our region. She said there are 21 beds for people who are recovering from a hospital stay but don’t have a place to live.

“They get discharged and they go back to the street and so very often they go right back to the ER, and just get sicker and sicker over time,” said Anderson. “We have always known this was a gap that needed to be filled.”

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The upgrades also include 14 rooms for the Family Inn. Anderson said there are homeless shelters for men only and women and children, but limited resources for families to stay together as they work to get out of homeless.

“This will be a time of stability where families can have breathing space to take advantage of the support as they move from homelessness to housing with the help of MIFA,” said Anderson.

Anderson said the first three families who need support will be moving into this facility next Monday.

She said they will need more volunteers as well.

For more information about this resource or how to help, visit their website.