MEMPHIS, Tenn — For many of us, a warm meal and blanket are a given during a winter storm like this, but for our unhoused neighbors, it's more than essential. LB Walker with Constance Abbey, an organization dedicated to serving people in need, said these dangerous temperatures can be deadly for those who don't have a place to stay.
"It’s so easy to die out here," Walker said. "It takes just one bad night."
Volunteers with Constance Abbey have given out nearly 1,000 warm meals, along with clothes and blankets to people at the city's warming centers in the last three days of the winter storm. Walker said most people living on the street deal with brutal conditions all the time.
"These people go through this all year," Walker said.
If you can safely do so, Walker advises you to check-in with your neighbors and others in your community because you never know who might need a hand.
"Once you get to know people they’re just the same as everyone else," Walker said. "These people a lot of them just had the misfortune of being born with a mental illness."
The Abbey was founded during the yellow fever pandemic in Memphis when most of the city was left abandoned. They hope this can be a time our whole city follows that mission in helping make it better for all.
"I think this is an opportunity for us to re-evaluate how we treat unhoused people, to get to know their stories and to see that there are such gaping holes in our system and our safety net that this is the best we can do," Walker said.
Constance Abbey is always open to donations to help as many people as they can.