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House of Mtenzi Museum connecting volunteers to the people they serve through education tour

"The only way we can give them authenticity is to actually take them to the habitation they live"

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The House of Mtenzi Museum has been serving the Midtown Memphis community for years.

“We feed the homeless, we clothe them, we give them love which is the most important thing. It’s all about restoring the dignity in their hearts,” Museum owner Stanley Campbell said.

Campbell runs the daily operations at the museum and is preparing for one of their biggest events of the year, The Forgotten Souls Fall Festival, food giveaway. However, what’s unique about the food giveaway is the homelessness education tour dozens of volunteers take before they serve the community.

"The only way we can give them authenticity is to actually take them to the habitation they live,” Campbell said.

A tour ABC24 got to take.

“Where they live, where they sleep, so they’ll have a 360 understanding of why they need to give, why they are giving, and why they need to do more,” Campbell said.

The tour takes volunteers through the community showing them the day to day struggles of what people living on the streets deal with.

“Our efforts of helping come from a real place of love,” Campbell said.

The first stop is always the Manna House which serves as a safe haven for many seeking shelter, food, or a warm shower.

“It’s a small unit of a house but it so big and large in what they do,” Campbell said.

Next the tour takes volunteers a few blocks over to an underpass where a lot of the homeless population are forced to sleep.

“It’s all about engaging and knowing someone cares, seriously care about their condition. That’s the connection,” Campbell said.

Campbell says by the time many of the volunteers get back, they have a new purpose for wanting to help.

“When they make it back to the festival before we feed them you can see their motivation totally change,” Campbell said.

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