Advocacy

Advocacy

Advocacy at MIFA

At MIFA, we believe service and advocacy reinforce each other and are necessary to achieving our mission of supporting the independence of vulnerable seniors and families in crisis and our vision of uniting our community in service. Advocacy means using our voices as committed and informed champions for our cause. Our mission will be fully realized when our community and our leaders understand our causes and see them as worthy of their best efforts and support.

 

MIFA’s Advocacy Key Issues

Senior Hunger: As our senior population grows—both in Memphis and nationwide—the risk of hunger among this vulnerable community grows with it. Food insecurity threatens the physical health of seniors, while the isolation of living alone Memphis has highest rate for senior food insecurity of any metropolitan area at 15.6%; approx. 500 eligible for waiting list; clients in every zip code threatens their emotional health. When seniors receive adequate nutrition and regular interactions with others, those threats diminish, allowing them to maintain or improve their health and remain independent for longer.

MIFA’s senior programs are designed to promote independence, health, and dignity. Through daily nutrition, fellowship with volunteers, and congregate meal sites, our programs help seniors continue living in their homes, while advocacy continues to support them when they move to care homes.

Preventing Family Homelessness: A common setback like an illness or job loss can spiral a family into homelessness. A utility cutoff or missed rent payment can lead to an eviction that leaves a family without housing. Targeted, often low-cost, interventions can prevent crisis escalation, stabilizing families before they need more intensive support.

MIFA partners with community stakeholders to obtain and retain quality affordable housing. Memphis is the Nation’s “Eviction Capital”, with 30,000 cases filed yearly, involving nearly one in five renters. Poverty, rising rents and blighted older housing (often absentee-owned) create a difficult situation for renters. Landlord-friendly laws and court procedures make the situation worse, even in the best of times. The COVID crisis is likely to double the number of evictions, spreading the crisis to even moderate-income renters.

MIFA's family programs provide basic services to prevent homelessness, stabilize families, and encourage independence. We offer a spectrum of personalized interventions designed to address the vulnerabilities that could lead an individual or family to homelessness—interventions ranging from food vouchers to utility assistance to assistance with shelter or permanent supportive housing.

Inter-faith Relations: Perhaps now more than ever, MIFA’s efforts to promote inter-faith understanding can lead to stronger and healthier communities. By serving together, we can turn distrust into trust and suspicion into understanding. MIFA’s inter-faith activities promote awareness, cooperation, and service among people from all spiritual paths.

MIFA’s inter-faith activities include special service projects and programs promoting inter-faith interactions and understanding.