Featured in The Commercial Appeal
By Katherine Burgess
Memphis’ Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association (MIFA) has received a $5 million grant to combat homelessness from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund.
“We are extremely grateful to the Day 1 Families Fund,” said Sally Jones Heinz, MIFA president and CEO, in a news release. “This generous support will allow us to build on our programs for families experiencing homelessness and ensure no child sleeps on the streets of Memphis.”
The one-time grant will be used to support services for homeless families over a five-year period. A portion of the funding will go toward assisting formerly homeless families who have secured housing, according to a news release.
Caprice Snyder, chief operating officer, said the money will be used to enhance services already in operation, adding staff and decreasing client wait times for things like rehousing families. Currently, MIFA serves homeless families with minor children through a hotline, needs screenings, emergency shelter placement, rapid rehousing program, stipends as they move into permanent housing and connections to services such as finding employment.
"We we want to be able to ensure a more stable placement," Snyder said. "It’s not a new program, it complements what we’re already doing and broadens what we’re already doing.”
The Bezos Day 1 Families Fund is an initiative launched by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to battle homelessness and start Montessori-style preschools in low-income communities.
MIFA was one of 32 nonprofits around the country included in the second round of grants. This year’s grants totaled $98.5 million.
Katherine Burgess covers county government, religion and the suburbs. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 901-529-2799 or followed on Twitter @kathsburgess.