Open Table Nashville Opens Emergency Shelters
by Emily Luxen
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - As the temperatures drop, one Nashville non-profit organization is stepping up efforts to make sure homeless people around the city have a place to stay.
Volunteers from Open Table Nashville spent Tuesday evening opening four emergency shelters around the city.
Anytime the temperature drops below 25 degrees, Open Table Nashville coordinates with area churches to use available space to open emergency shelters. At First Church of the Nazarene Tuesday night, more than 60 homeless residents showed up for a place to sleep and a warm meal.
Last year, Open Table Nashville operated emergency shelters a total of 14 nights. Since November of 2013, volunteers have already opened shelters 30 nights.
"This has been a really tough winter for us," said Lindsey Krinks, Outreach Worker at Open Table Nashville. "We are all exhausted."
Krinks said despite several stretches of frigid temperatures, donations are still coming in, and volunteers are still stepping up to help. She said efforts are paying off.
"One of the best things that has happened this year is we haven't had any deaths due to exposure," said Krinks. "Every year in Nashville we have had one death, but because we have been able to mobilize with so many churches we haven't had any deaths. That is something to celebrate, for sure."
Open Table Nashville will continue to operate emergency shelters Wednesday and Thursday night. The locations change each night depending on which churches are helping out. Volunteers will also be driving around the city looking for people who may need a ride to one of the shelters.
For more information on volunteering or donating to Open Table Nashville visit www.opentablenashville.org