This year, nonprofit My Sistah’s House is expanding its services for folks in need in the Memphis area
My Sistah’s House has big plans for 2024!
The trans-led, Memphis-based non-profit, founded by TLGBQ advocates Kayla Gore and Illyahnna C. Wattshall, has provided dozens of accessible homes through their low barrier homeowner program since starting in 2016. But their work is far from over.
My Sistah’s House (MSH), which began with mainly transitional tiny homes of about 400 square feet, now also renovates single family homes for individuals and families in the Orange Mound and South Memphis area, specifically in the Historic Glenview District. Currently, MSH has two homes under construction, with plans for 7 more by the end of 2024.
Along with expanding its services for more Memphis residents, My Sistah’s House also offers mental health resources, case management, and community services through the Green Space, their community building located in South Memphis.
We had the pleasure to speak with Kayla Gore about all My Sistah’s House has planned this year, and how you can get involved.
Who Is My Sistah’s House Is For?
My Sistah’s House has a mission to help end housing inequality.
To achieve that goal, the Memphis nonprofit has now expanded its services to help all marginalized communities in the area.
In 2016, MSH was created in response to the overwhelming disparity of homelessness for Black trans women and femmes. Even now, Black trans women remain some of the most vulnerable members in our LGBT and queer communities.
In fact, transgender people overall experiencing homelessness or lack of shelter has increased 88 percent since 2016. Inconsistency in housing raises the chance of harm, mental health problems, and other trauma, which is exactly why organizations like MSH are important.
While My Sistah’s House continues to prioritize Black trans women and femmes in all of its community work, all of those in need are welcome.
“This year we’ve housed one trans masc family and a cis couple, and we encourage single moms [and other vulnerable groups]. We’re open to helping anyone who comes to us,” said Gore.
In a PBS and TransLash Media documentary, Gore shared that the final goal of MSH is for them to no longer need to exist. Unfortunately though, the work that organizations like MSH do are still extremely necessary and continue to uplift individuals in communities that are often ignored.
Like Kayla Gore shared with us, “We’re helping the most vulnerable members of our community become homeowners in a society where that’s usually not possible.”
The My Sistah’s House Green Space and Community Involvement
My Sistah’s House provides community care and events at their Green Space in South Memphis. Gore and the MSH team created the space as a way to better connect and stay involved with community members, as well as have a central location for events like Hot Meal Thursdays and Feeding Fridays, where they offer free meals to those in need.
The Green Space has fun community grills, name change assistance, and offers other health, wellness and financial literacy resources, all free of charge.
How Can You Get Involved?
MSH is always looking for volunteers, especially those with specific expertise. Currently, the MSH team is seeking volunteers with backgrounds in construction and fence-building, as well as locals interested in helping neighborhood beautifying efforts around South Memphis. They’re also looking for accessibility experts to help make sure the homes are usable for people of all abilities. To volunteer, head to the MSH website.
In terms of funding, My Sistah’s House, which began as a mutual aid-funded org, is now looking for sponsors and partners interested in uplifting and helping to sustain their advocacy and housing efforts. The org has been able to build more homes this year thanks to a grant this past April from the Shelby County Mayor, Lee Harris, but as MSH continues to help more and more people, it will need more financial support.
But you don’t have to be a partner or sponsor to donate to MSH! Donating to MSH is as simple as texting MSH to 26989. You can also check out their current fundraiser in partnership with Krispy Kreme, or their website to donate via Paypal.
Are you in need?
If you are someone in need of transitional or permanent housing, MSH can help. Head to their website as early as this February for updates on upcoming inventory availability for single family homes.
Follow @mshmemphis and stay tuned for all things My Sistah’s House.