Darius Clayton: A Reward like No Other
Darius Phatmack Clayton is the outreach director for the Hospitality Hub of Memphis. The Hub is a homeless resource center where they actively work to help those who fall victim to homelessness get to the root of the cause. They want to find exactly what got the person into the position they are in and help them navigate a way out.
Clayton has been working for The Hub for about 4 years and he has seen the transformation from The Hub solely being a place where people can get things like their identification papers, to The Hub being a shelter for those without homes.
The Hub has moved to a newer location that they call The Plaza. This new setup was perfect for the recent COVID-19 restrictions on social distancing because of its more elaborate outside space. At The Hub, you can find public restrooms intentionally placed outside The Hub for those who can’t find public restrooms in businesses. The Hub also has charger ports outside of the building for monitored use and they have a locker area that also contains charger ports for unmonitored use and privacy.
Clayton feels personally connected to the mission of The Hub because he was once in a position where he didn’t have a place to stay himself. When he was younger, he and his family would have to live with other family members. Clayton again found himself in the same situation when he was in his early twenties. Briefly, things were looking up. At the age of twenty-four, Clayton bought his first home and then suddenly lost his job. He ended up sleeping in his car or on other people’s couches for shelter and survival. He knew he never wanted to go back to a place of instability or insecurity and vowed to work his way through his situation.
“We get so caught up in what I like to call survival that we forget to prosper, build, and plan for the next step. If you are attempting to swim and you are drowning, it’s going to be hard to build a float. But if you are on stable land, instead of a float, you can build a boat that’ll take you where you need to be,” said Darius Clayton.
Today, Clayton remains committed to helping other individuals who have found themselves in that same boat and feels fortunate to now walk the streets to help the displaced find the resources they need to get back on track- no matter how they got there.