MEMPHIS, Tenn. - During the summer, there are limited cooling centers in the city for people who don't have anywhere to go and live on the streets.
But the Hospitality Hub is working to change that. The organization started its Golf Cart Outreach, which is taking a new approach to helping the homeless.
Every morning from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and afternoon from 2-4 p.m., Mak Clayton makes his way through Downtown Memphis on his golf cart, passing cups of ice-cold water.
FOX13 rode along with Clayton as he met with almost 20 people in less than an hour.
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This is the Hospitality Hub's Golf Cart Outreach. It's a new partnership with city of Memphis and Downtown Memphis Commission.
Clayton said it's more than just delivering a cup of water on hot day, it's about delivering a connection to services.
"I'm coming to you as I am and I'm asking how can I help you? How can I connect you to this? And people open up to you and people tell you these things and it's heartbreaking a lot of times because it's something so simple – something that cause a person to be homeless and they just lose themselves," said Darius ‘Mak' Clayton, director of outreach services at the Hospitality Hub.
After these conversations, Clayton said about three to five people come to the Hub for help.
"Getting to the surface level of what is going on, so we can get them to come into the doors and get them connected to our resources or our partners' resources that will actually get them out of their current situation and into a better place," said Clayton.
He said he knows the Hub can't solve homelessness overnight, but he said the first step may be starting with something as simple as a conversation and a cup of water.
Clayton said his team meets about 30 people a week through this outreach.
The Hospitality Hub is also working on a day center which would have misting fans during the summer and heat during the winter.
The city of Memphis has opened its cooling center at the Lewis Senior Center which is located at 1188 North Parkway.
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