Ever since the temperatures dropped below freezing, its been getting harder and harder to roll out of bed in the morning, but most of us are lucky enough to have warm clothes, heat, and a place to sleep at night. Unfortunately, Nashville's growing homeless population is facing the cold weather without any of the luxuries that most of us have.
Since reaching Level 3 of the Cold Weather Plan, which takes effect when temperatures drop below 19 degrees, Metro Police and various non-profits have taken steps towards helping those in need. Additional beds have been added to pre-existing shelters, while an additional overflow shelter has also opened at the East Park Community Center. The Humane Associate's mobile pet unit has even set up shop outside the overflow shelter to accommodate those with pets.
While Metro is doing everything they can, they still need the public's help to make sure everyone stays safe.
Make a Monetary Donation
The following organizations are accepting financial contributions to purchase the most needed items:
Room In The Inn, Open Table Nashville, and The Nashville Rescue Mission are accepting items to assist those experiencing homelessness.
- Hand warmers
- Hats, gloves, scarves
- Jackets and hoodies (sizes XL and up)
- Lip balm
- Hand lotion
- Hand sanitizer
- Cold medicines (cough drops and other items in pill form)
- Pain medications (aspirin, ibuprofen)
- Emergency Survival Blankets
Open Table Nashville is collecting items to keep those living in encampments safe. The following items can be dropped off at Open Table Nashville:
- MTA bus passes (one way or all day)
- Two-person tents
- Sleeping bags for cold weather
- Small propane tanks for heaters
If you prefer to give directly versus a monetary donation, that's okay too! There are plenty of ways for you to directly help those in need.
Recently, tying scarves around trees and light posts has been a popular way of giving back. A card is typically left with each scarf along with a message to keep it if you are in need.
Blessing bags are another easy way to help. Bags are filled with essentials such as scarves, gloves, hand warmers, snacks, and more and distributed to those in need.
Call Metro Police
If you come across someone in need of assistance, please call the non-emergency Metro Police at 615-862-8600 to report your concerns.
Become a Volunteer
Open Table Nashville is always looking for volunteers (group + individual), especially during the winter months. To learn more about the various volunteer opportunities, click here.