Nashville shelter providers and outreach workers – all partners in the How’s Nashville campaign – created a coordinated Cold Weather Community Response Plan for this season. This past week, we reached Level 4, which is our highest level alert. Level 4 means that Metro government is assisting nonprofit partners with outreach to and sheltering of people experiencing homelessness due to a weather situation.
As you know, Nashville, like so many areas, dealt with some dangerous winter weather, snow and ice, this week.
Our partners stepped up. Here are just a few notes of this week’s collaboration:
Metro, under the leadership of the Office of Emergency Management, the Mayor’s Office, and the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission opened an overflow shelter for people experiencing homelessness at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds.
More than 60 volunteers from the community stepped up to help out at Metro’s overflow shelter. This number does not count all the volunteers who committed to extra work at Room In the Inn congregations this past week.
A special shout out goes to Metro Social Services staff who helped fill most of the slots at Metro’s overflow shelter.
Outreach workers from Open Table Nashville, Mental Health Cooperative, Oasis Center, Park Center, and Metro first responders tirelessly canvassed areas and helped people experiencing homelessness reach shelters this week – after hours and under bad weather conditions.
It takes a community! Outreach workers from Mental Health Coop and Open Table Nashville reported that they successfully connected people who usually do not go indoors with shelters this past week.
Metro Police dedicated officers Wednesday afternoon and all through the night (weather forecasts predicted sub zero temperatures) to use their shifts to conduct cold weather checks and bring people into shelters.
MTA provided over 200 free bus rides this week for people identified by outreach workers as highly vulnerable and helped them reach emergency shelters.
Metro Libraries coordinated their opening hours to keep warm locations open for homeless people to go during the daytime.
Metro Animal Shelter provided small, individual shelters with crates and supplies to keep homeless people and their pets together.
Hunt Brothers Pizza donated a dinner at the overflow shelter, and Jackson National Life Insurance Company sponsored another dinner.
Neighborhood associations, universities and local nonprofits stepped in to help recruit volunteers.
Thank you to all How’s Nashville partners for your continued dedication to help people move into permanent supportive housing. That is the solutions we believe in as a community!
The overflow shelter closed Saturday at noon, and the regular Cold Weather Community Response Plan went back into effect. The cold weather is not over. This coming week, we will be at elevated weather alerts (Levels 2 and 3). Please support the lifesaving work of our emergency shelters: Room In The Inn, the Nashville Rescue Mission, Oasis Center, Safe Haven Family Shelter.